Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Crabby About Christmas

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…blah, blah, blah!  I thought so but there is kind of a lot of stuff to do.  It is actually stressful and busy and exhausting.  I have not been in the jolliest of moods this month.  And it wasn’t all due to the fact that we had a week long stomach bug. 

The problem is that I’m a control freak.  I never thought I was but I do want everything done my way.  It’s made me unable to enjoy a lot of things this Christmas.

Like when we got our Christmas tree.  It was a long day.  I didn’t get enough sleep.  Maren was a bear to deal with.  I had to run back and forth to school activities.  I had to run my bus route of four year olds to school.  I had a meeting that Maren came along to.  You can probably guess how well that went.  There were some other stupid things I was stewing about.  I got home in time for her to throw a royal fit until the bus delivered all four kids.  Mike drove in the drive way at the exact same time.

He came in an announced we were going to get our Christmas tree.  I was thinking, “Now?  Are you insane?”  I begrudgingly got my boots on and went along.

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We found a tree the Griswold way.  Nothing really went according to plan.  We ended up buying one out of a guy’s front yard.  I tried to help with the straps just to be a good sport.


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We got home and I started making the supper I never had a chance to make while they trimmed it and brought it in; pine needles and dirty boots everywhere.  I was so annoyed with everything that I could not enjoy the evening.  I was snapping at the kids and pouting while struggling with my chicken.

Part of my problem is that our family adventures never live up to how I envision them to be.  I’d like to have a clean house and head out happily together.  I’d like to plan ahead the night we are going to do the tree and have soup in the crock pot waiting for us.  I’d like to have homemade hot cocoa and cookies while we merrily decorate the tree. 

Because of the way I wish things would happen, I was missing how they were happening.  The kids were having a ball helping get the tree to stand up straight.  They loved getting out all their ornaments.  Maren especially was thrilled.  Last year we were probably keeping her far away from everything.  She shrieked with joy at every little decoration.

When I went to check the chicken at 6:30 it still wasn’t done.  The kids were practicing their piano and wrestling at the same time.  The ornaments were clustered too close together.  One of them dropped and shattered into pieces.  The tree is still a little crooked.


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I guess that’s how tree decorating night goes when you have little kids. 

Everyone wanted to help me wrap presents for my Sunday school kids.  I wanted to do it by myself.  I was in a hurry because I was doing it Sunday morning.  I wanted them to look pretty because preschoolers care about stuff like that.

I had help rolling out sugar cookies.  They are my favorite.  I didn’t want help.  They were too thick and too thin.  There were mounds of frosting on each one.  While Annie was rolling cookies, she said, “I am having so much fun, Mommy!”

I was looking forward to some peace and quiet in my kitchen last night.  We had everyone in bed, but someone magically reappeared.  So I had a chatty helper while making the birthday cinnamon rolls. She cut them all with thread and unwrapped a bunch of candy for me. 

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It was kind of nice to have the company.

Sometimes I need to learn to let go and just enjoy the moments even if they aren’t planned out or perfect.  It doesn’t change one thing to be crabby about it.  It still needs to get done.  The house will get messy anyway like it always is. The cookies and rolls may not be perfect and it may not get done in peace but there will be plenty of happy mouths eating them.

I don’t want them to remember a crabby and crazed mom trying to get it all done and done right.  I don’t want them to remember never being able to help.  I don’t want them to remember always being told no or wait because I’m busy making this the perfect Christmas for you.  I don’t want them to remember getting in trouble for making a mess. 

It’s silly to get uptight about everything.  Christmas will come and go.  No one will remember the cookies or the tree or the nice wrapping on the presents.  I want them to remember doing things together and having fun.  I want them to treasure time spent over cookie dough and tree ornaments.  I want us to laugh about our Christmas tree expeditions. I hope I remember the important things this year and enjoy every minute.

1 comment:

Peter and Nancy said...

Oh boy, was this a good post for me to read! I have wrapped exactly 2 presents, haven't made cut-out cookies yet, and I should probably at least dust and vaccuum before hosting my family's Christmas on Thursday! And my music pastor husband is at church in the evenings (choir, a class etc.) Mon.-Wed. I'm trying to do the most important stuff with love -- Advent calendar, Bible stories at night, making our birthday cake for Jesus. Hope we make good memories too.