I love the Christmas season. Although, there are aspects of it that drive me completely bonkers. And it’s not anyone else’s fault that it affects me that way; it’s me. I have this unreal desire to make it perfect. I confess; I want it all. I want the picture perfect postcard fire crackling while my children hum Christmas carols. I want to make everyone’s favorite cookies, with the kids happily pitching in, especially the clean up. I want the house decorated to Martha Stewart’s standards. I want the Christmas shopping done, and the presents wrapped posthaste. I want the Christmas newsletter to be interesting and funny, even though our year may not have been interesting or funny at all. I want to watch every single sappy Christmas movie, and listen to all my favorite Christmas carols umpteen times. Most of all, I want to enjoy every moment with my family and remember the true meaning of the holiday.
However… one of the kids will get an intestinal virus and spend all day in the bathroom, while I spend the day doing the laundry. Or, the plumber won’t show up on the designated day, so all my shopping for food ingredients gets pushed back another day, and the baking gets pushed back too. Or maybe a sudden wind gust rips off part of the roof, and all the Christmas decoration boxes are soaked through, and must be left to dry out before the decorating can proceed. (That’s not really so far-fetched; it kind of did really happen!) So all my most well-laid plans amount to one step forward, three steps back.
I get frustrated, annoyed, angry, guilt-ridden, resentful, and yes, crazy over my “failure” to “make” Christmas happen. Except – Christmas doesn’t really have anything to do with me. I can’t make Christmas, and I can’t fail at Christmas either. I can only control my attitude about how all those glitches that affect me can affect the season. I find it very hard to not fall into the trap of letting Christmas be about the decorations and the cookies, and the perfectly coiffed tree. I should get on the floor with my kids and play Monopoly (which I hate because it takes so very, very long), watch The Grinch for the 14th time in as many days, and laugh. Just laugh. Not stress – laugh. Enjoy the time with my family. Enjoy the gift that they are.