Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Perfect Christmas....with a heaping side of guilt...

We all have dreams of having the perfect Christmas season.  We have our plans in our minds and they rarely (ok, pretty much never) live up to our expectations.  That is probably why the Christmas Vacation movie is a holiday standard.  We all know that we are only 1 squirrel in a tree away from following Clark's footsteps.
How many times have many of us planned the perfect trip to Silver Dollar City to see the lights....only to have so many people in front of you that you can't see them.  Then don't get me started on the crazy walk to your vehicle where you are being herded like cattle and terrified you will loose your grip on your child's hand.  Yeah, that is the stuff that holidays are made of!  Or when you buy chocolate and pretzels and have the cutest photo op in your head where your children will be covered in chocolate and look so sweet.  But then your oldest one breaks that beautiful thought by saying he doesn't like mixing sweet and salty so it would be better for him to not help dip the pretzels.   

Then there is the guilt that creeps up on you.  I think especially with the whole blogging/facebooking/tweeting world that is a big thing anymore.  People tend to only post their best.  So when someone posts that they decided to give away all their wordly possessions this season they don't share how the kids screamed and cried and their husband said the TV was leaving over his dead body.   And I'm not judging anyone's choice at all - but then there are those who decide to not do Santa at all and then you feel like they sit around and read the Nativity story so much that their 12 month old could quote the KJ Version to perfection. They don't get caught up in the holiday commercialism and they sit around their tree sipping hot drinks and admiring the lights.

Things like that used to really bother me with Cade.  I always wondered if he was getting the true meaning of Christmas? why couldn't I get him to learn Away in a Manager from the moment he could talk? was he never going to grow up and be a good citizen if I had good intentions of doing an Angel Tree but either forgot or decided it was easier to do the shopping without him?  Ahh that guilt will get you.

 I usually ran out of time to do those things because we were wrapping 10+ giant boxes for the kid's Christmas program at church...or painting (what seemed like) 5 million sets of Angel wings..or organizing costumes..or trying to spend our precious weekends leading up to Christmas with a mixture of celebrating with friends and family and making sure the presents were wrapped and under the tree..or decorating the house with all of our special decorations that when you are half way though you wonder why you are even bothering, etc.  Whew!  Then I would have these mini-meltdowns and think that I was horrible because things seemed out of control and all the really good, have it together people were joining hands and walking through a snowy field singing Christmas Carols.

I think our wait for Camryn changed my perspective on a lot of things.  I don't care so much what other people do and I know that in our family we make our own traditions.  Also, the fact that Cade didn't know the words to some basic church songs really bothered me.  But I've finally realized something - I can't sing.  That is clearly one talent God did not bless me with.  I don't go around singing because no one wants to hear it.  So why would Cade know the words to those songs when his mother doesn't sing them because it sounds like two cats fighting outside the window???  Duh.  Once I came to that realization that because those things were important in other families didn't mean it had to be in mine.  What a relief!!!  I know we do the best we can and how we act while doing them will be what Cade and Camryn remember. 

Things get crazy around our house this time of year.  Right now I've got to giant boxes from Oriental Trading company sitting in the garage.  The garage is a wreck because of getting the decorations down last weekend.  I've got to go through those boxes and get the stuff I ordered for the church program organized.  I've also got several craft projects I want to finish plus presents to wrap, Elf on the Shelf to plan, Advent reading to do, Christmas Script to finish, music to pick...and that's just this week :)  No, there is a not a lot of time for quiet reflection on the past year or the year to come.  But there is a whole lot of fun times to be had and crazy memories to be made with a bunch of family and friends.  These things will be what Cade and Camryn remember.  Our season may not be perfect for someone else...but as long as someone doesn't set my tree on fire I will consider the holiday a success!

I found this great article this week where the author did a really great job expressing how I feel about the holidays.  I love how she describes what really happened when the Word became Flesh.  Hopefully it will help someone else who may struggle with these same thoughts.  Enjoy!!

Kids and Christmas


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