Christmas is such a busy time for moms. I never knew it would be so stressful. The pain of missing loved ones that are no longer here is almost tangible. It threatens to cloud over the holiday season. I never want to quit remembering my dad and grandma and others that have gone, but I know they would want me to enjoy this time with my kids.
So I press on. I do the best I can to make Christmas as wonderful for Apple and Speedy as my family made it for me when I was a child. Really all we can do is our best. We don't have to work so hard to "make memories". The memories come naturally and often the memories our children cherish the most aren't the ones we think they will be. I never fail to be amazed when my kids rave over something as "the best time they've ever had" when it was something I thought was insignificant or something I thought they really didn't enjoy. Relax mamas. They will love little things as much as the big things.
My kids won't remember that I didn't get out all my Christmas cards this year. They haven't even realized I didn't make expensive, super special Christmas picture cards.
I think my favorite little moment so far this season was when they both fell asleep in my lap yesterday. We had a church lock-in the night before and I drifted to sleep while they were watching a movie yesterday afternoon. When I woke up they were both in my lap sound asleep. They rarely ever nap, even after a long night, so I just savored a few minutes of listening to them breath deeply. I didn't take a picture or write an update on social media. I just sat and soaked it in.
Every day they argue. Every day they need to be reminded to listen and obey. Nearly every day I want to pull out my hair. But they show strong character when I least expect it. When they receive a gift that wasn't something they really wanted and they decide later to give it to a little cousin who has so much less than they do. When they speak to a family member on the phone that they haven't seen in such a long time and they are loving and gentle and excited. Those are the moments. Those are my favorite memories.
Mamas relax. Soak it up. Let some of the busyness and the high expectations go. Let the kids help you even though it will take twice as long. Share their excitement over something like hot chocolate with a candy cane in it.
Merry Christmas. May it be full of wonder and love and free of being to hard on yourself.