In a mere 7 minutes, Christmas 2009 will be in the history books.
Since becoming a mom Christmas has changed. It isn't the Christmas that I remember as a kid. It isn't about me anymore. Christmas is all about my kids. And I will confess that fact makes Christmas a little anti-climatic. I am betting very few mothers would be willing to admit that, since as a mom this is how it is supposed to be. We are supposed to love making our children happy and all the work that goes along with it. So why don't I love it?
Don't get me wrong, I definitely got more joy out of seeing the smiles on my children's faces then in opening the gifts for myself, but it isn't the same kind of excitement and anticipation that I remember. Magically awaking to stuffed stockings and presents under the tree. That magic is gone.
As a kid, Christmas energized me. Maybe I was just hyped up on sugar and massive pile of gifts under the tree, but whatever the reason that isn't true anymore. Now I just feel wiped out in the aftermath of Christmas. As I sit here, I realize that I wasn't able to take it all in. I was too busy being distracted by the minutia and nerve grating prep work that goes along with pulling off a successful Christmas instead of living in the moment with the unadulterated joy and excitement of my childhood.
I also have that never ending mommy-guilt. Christmas has come to a close and I still have a laundry list of things I wished I had done differently. Maybe that is where the problem lies. My perspective has changed. Instead of seeing everything that did happen, I find myself focusing on what didn't.
I wish I had taken more pictures.
I wish I had gotten that other gift.
I wish I made gingerbread houses.
I wish that I could have put up more decorations.
I wish we had gone to see Santa...
.... blah, blah, blah.
Really what I am saying is: I wish I could have been that perfect mom.
And that is the fatal flaw. To my kids, I already am the perfect mom! I need to tell myself that to my children the magic is still there, and I am responsible for it. My love for them is all that matters, and once again I need to cut myself a break. They don't care we didn't make gingerbread houses, or visit Santa or get that other gift, they were thrilled and excited with Christmas the way it was. And in reality, even my childhood Christmases weren't perfect, but thanks to my mom I didn't realize it, I only remember the joy.
So next year I vow to see Christmas through their eyes, oblivious to anything other than the pure thrill of the season. I won't sweat the small stuff, and one thing will remain the same from my childhood: My kids will be surrounded by people who love and care about them and who want them to be happy. That will be the new definition of Christmas joy.
Day 8,9: Tonight I am../Upside Down
3 months ago