Ohhhh! It’s the most wonderful time of the year, the most, stressful time, of the yeeeaaaaar!
That’s right, it’s that time again. Doesn’t it feel like just a month or ago it was warm enough to wear shorts and flip flops, just a couple months ago since the Fourth of July, right? No one had any cares because it was summer, right!? Nope, Halloween whirred past, Thanksgiving was nothing but turkey and stuffing gone in a blink. Now here we are, already half way through December, a mere week away from Christmas.
All the children I see are practically bursting with enthusiasm and excitement for the Holidays. Whether their families celebrate Hanukkah, Christmas or another holiday the energy is simply infectious. So many toothy grins and rosy cheeks everywhere I look. It is the most wonderful time of the year. By contrast, the adults accompanying them look tired, frazzled, and stressed out, because really, it is the most wonderfully stressful time of the year.
For myself, I’m incredibly stressed out. I’m cooking my first holiday meal on Christmas Eve, just a short six days away. I refuse to not give the kids a good Christmas day, we just bought a house, we got a dog, now we need that perfect Christmas dammit! So of course I overspent on everyone. Money is tight, my house is a mess, we have not really, truly, got organized. Yet I’m crazy enough to host Christmas Eve dinner.
So today I’m crunching numbers in the budget, trying to make everything balance in spite of holiday spending, in spite of an electric bill that was twice what it was the previous month (that’s another story for another day) and as I feel my hair turning white with each budget line item, I see Abbers’ picture from Santa that was taken last week. Just sitting on my desk. A simple picture of my precious, giant five year old whom Santa asked if she was seven, dressed up and absolutely beaming on Jolly St. Nick’s lap. I’m not sure there is a picture anywhere where she looks happier.
As I look at that picture, it is the most wonderful time of the year again. Money be damned, Abbers is happy, she feels the spirit of Christmas and she is so excited to be spending time with family. I managed to get all of the short list of gifts she wanted, with one special one from Santa, I got lucky that even though her wishlist is starting to get more expensive, we haven’t hit the gaming console requests yet. So we may have to depend on leftovers and ramen for a few nights and watch our spending the rest of the holidays and into 2016. Abbers will get to have her first Christmas dinner at her own house, our fist holiday in our new house. I’m expecting that even her step-brother will be happy with his gifts this year.
The stressful, overwhelming nature and feeling that adults feel at the holidays isn’t gone, but its being tempered by excited chatter, eyes a light with joy, and a little body practically shaking with anticipation of Christmas. So screw it, I’ll take the stress, I’ll embrace the stress, it will all be worth it in six short days. Once the dust settles after Boxing Day we can reflect and learn so that we can plan better next year and perhaps it won’t take this frustrated Mommy catching the glimmer in her daughter’s eye in a Santa photo to remind her what it’s all about, because truly, this is the most wonderful time of the year.
How does your family embrace the stress and joy of the holidays? Do you celebrate the typical Christmas or is another holiday part of your heritage? Do you remember the first time you hosted a major holiday?
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from Our Manufactured Life.