I know you all know what that statement means. Just incase you don’t, it means to GET OVER IT! After all, ’tis the season to be super busy, super stressed and grumpy, right? Now that Christmas is behind us, the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping, holiday parties, tree hunting and cookie making is all but a memory. We now face the battle of un-decorating, reorganizing and tending to the runny nosed kid. Don’t get me wrong or make me out to be a Scrooge. Christmas, by far, is my most favorite holiday and I cherish all of the events that come along with it. Just hearing the words white and elephant in the same sentence gets me all excited for the magical night. As I began packing up our stockings I couldn’t shake the feeling that Christmas was a little different this year. Some of the joy was gone and I found myself distracted, often thinking of friends and families who are going through a difficult time. Perhaps it was my own selfish expectations of how I thought Christmas should be, or I was too focused on what others would think of their gift. I’m not really sure why but I found myself short-tempered, tired and had a hard time getting myself started in the groove of Christmas. Here are a few my not so best moments:
- I was folding the umpteenth load of laundry one day and was literally arguing with my husband in my head. He wasn’t home and I had no reason to be mad. I just looked at a full laundry basket with his clothes in it that had been sitting in the same spot for three days and it ticked me off. I was mad because I had nowhere to put the next load, my back was killing me and I didn’t feel like lifting the heavy awkward beast myself and carry it inside. I was feeling this way despite the fact that he was working long hours so that I could work just two days a week and be at home with kids, doing the things I said I wanted. I pulled the last of my laundry out and wasn’t sure if I should laugh or cry. My favorite cami had gotten caught on the dryer vent and tore the strap right off. Tangled, in the now limp spaghetti noodle of a strap, was my favorite pair of undies. Suddenly the expression, “Don’t get your panties in wad” came to mind. I decided to laugh and chucked the tangled mess into the waste basket.
- One of my favorite solitary things to do during the holiday season is to turn on Christmas music from the 1940’s and 1950’s and wrap presents all day while the kids are at school. My I pod was singing, my gifts were out and organized. I got the tissue paper and wrapping paper all sorted out by gift size and recipient. Next, I began the hunt for my scissors and tape. The scissors were relatively easy to find. I found them after searching only three drawers. Slightly irritated that my scissors hadn’t been put back in their said spot (I remind my kids every time they use them. EEK!)I moved the search and rescue onto my tape. Imagine my horror when I saw that my precious eight year old had hijacked all FIVE rolls of my tape. Yes, ALL FIVE. She had made a life-sized character out of poster board and used my tape to make his pants. Heaven forbid that I would have to trek the crazy aisles of Target for the second time that day! Say it ain’t so! I picked up her art project to lay it on the table, of course I was going to lecture her about using my supplies without asking. Then I saw written on the back, “To: The bestest Mom Love: Amaya”. My heart melted and I put the present back where I had found it. What a sweet reminder that she absolutely loves Christmas too. She loves giving to others and I’ve encouraged this all along. I decided to let this one go, even if it means that I’ll have to make another courageous trip back to Target.I looked at the pants made out of tape one last time and the phrase, “Don’t get your knickers in a twist” came to mind. Well done, Amaya, well done.
- Christmas morning, as I watched my kids tear through their gifts, I couldn’t help but feel saddened that after the month-long prepping, it would be over in just minutes. The excitement, anticipation and the mystery of our beloved elf would be gone and hiding of presents would be over. I’d soon be packing away baby Jesus and his manger and our timeless ornaments would be placed back in their totes. I thought of my family who couldn’t be with us on Christmas, some near and some far, and wondered how their day was going so far. There was a bit of melancholy in the air as I thought of my daughter who was in heaven. I wondered how it would be with her there. Then my mind thought of my grandmother’s, also in heaven. The always made this holiday so special. I thought of my parents and their grief and of my friends that had lost loved ones or were very close to losing them. It’s always difficult to lose someone, but this time of year makes it even harder. I prayed that they’d be able to find some joy and receive comfort this holiday season. I have so much to be thankful for. I thought, “Get your junk out of its funk.” So I did.
I realize how blessed and fortunate I am. I have my family, my home and friends. The simple rituals my kids love will be imprinted on them forever, not the big flashy gifts. They probably wont even remember what they received this time next year, but they will remember the gingerbread house they constructed with the marshmallow snowman. They’ll remember the story of Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus, and the live nativity scene decorated with the beautiful twinkling lights in the neighborhood. These are the things I’m going to hold on to.