I have felt really bad about the lack of Christmas Spirit around here this year. There has been some concerted effort, there really has. And there have been some nice moments. But amidst
-a child breaking one my beloved, irreplaceable Christmas dishes
-Nate having to miss his off Friday and work Saturday last week
-poor decisions on my part such as going to Great Clips on a Saturday in December with all three kids by myself (exact opposite of Heaven on Earth)
-spending a full week stressing over making Shutterfly books that we had coupon codes for and working until literally the last minute before the codes expired only to find that it was "limit one per household"
-having the tree stand break which lead to a "TIMBER" situation
-getting up extra early to try to meet our 2009 goal of being to church on time for once and then spending 20 minutes searching for Elizabeth's shirt which I remembered was in the car after giving up and doing a last minute outfit change (alas, the goal was not met)
-Elizabeth cutting the neighbor girl's hair again and them not being very happy with me
-and all of the other normal stresses of getting ready for Christmas, getting ready to go out of town, and life with 3 kids in general
I have not felt very merry.
Now, I am not sheltered or self-absorbed enough to think that any of these things truly qualify as having a hard life or tough times during the holidays. But I have still let it get to me. I have lashed out at everyone in this house besides the baby. And then the motherguilt sets in and I just feel worse.
Now if that doesn't make your heart grow three sizes, I don't know what will.
Thursday was pretty awful again. You can't expect teary story times and sibling singalongs 24/7, people. But that night I did some serious repenting and had a new determination to make this final week before Christmas better than the last two had been.
Friday we went to see Santa. It went really smoothly and was very enjoyable (other than the part where Harrison told Santa he wanted a dog pillow pet instead of the already purchased unbeknownst to him panda pillow pet). I helped out at Harrison's class Christmas party. Nate took Elizabeth on a date to see Christmas lights at these special gardens (all his idea, so sweet). Saturday Nate took Harrison snowboarding all day. I'll tell you what, spending a day as a single parent is a lot easier if you're down a kid! Plus, for the first time all month, we had absolutely nothing on the calendar. The three of us stayed home, in our PJs ALL day! I wrapped presents while watching the newer Miracle on 34th Street that I'd never seen (cried again -- I swear something is wrong with me). Sunday was church and it was the first time we've been in our ward on the Sunday before Christmas (we're usually with family at their ward). I really liked being with our own ward family and sharing the special spirit of Christmas with them. We did a gingerbread house in the afternoon (with a kit, of course, there's no way I'd do one from scratch at this point) and had a really yummy dinner. Then kids and I drove around and delivering Christmas gifts and looking at lights.
Soon we're off to Grandma and Grandpa's and then the fun will really begin. My point is, better late than never, Ebenezer and I aren't seeing nearly as much of each other lately. Next year, I will do as much as I possibly can to eliminate "bah humbug" from my vocabulary by planning ahead, simplifying and letting go of the crazy notion that my family will suddenly be blissful and angelic just because the calendar says December.