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You Are Not Alone in NOT Having a Perfect Christmas

Christmas day will become just a regular day in 22 minutes, and I’m already seeing blog and Facebook posts about the beautiful day that such-and-such a family had, how special their family time was and how sweet it was to celebrate the birth of our Lord.

This isn’t going to be one of those posts.

We had high and low moments in the Maddox house. I could pretend that we had only high moments, justifying the lie by telling myself that I should focus on the positive. But that’s never helped me when I’ve read someone else’s post “focusing on the positive.” It just makes me feel bad that I don’t have it as together as other moms, wondering, “How do they do it?” and, “What’s wrong with ME?”

If your Christmas season has been filled with only Pinterest-worthy moments, feel free to move on to more “positive” reading. But if you’ve had your share of both good and bad moments, please read on. You’re about to feel better about yourself.

First the high moments:

  • Watching my boys run around in their Christmas pajamas. My husband’s grandmother used to give all the kids Christmas pajamas, and after her death his step-mother continued the tradition. This is the first time they’ve had matching pajamas, and I’ve gotta say that I love it and may find more matching outfits for them. I’m sure they’ll thank me for it when they’re adults.MatchingPJsAren’t they too cute for words? Michael has a James Dean attitude going on, and Cruz is grinning and showing his precious little belly. Man, I love these kids.
  • Having our family together at home with no plans to go anywhere or do anything. My hubby has had to work a lot of hours lately, so we were due some family time.
  • A Christmas nap. I can’t remember the last time I took a nap, and wasn’t planning to indulge today, but hubby was home and I had a big breakfast and it just felt right.
  • Getting this gift from Michael. He made it in school and I just love it. I know that one day I’ll look at those little handprints and wonder if he was really ever that small. My sweet boy.MichaelWreath
  • Watching Michael and Cruz play together. At one point Michael was playing by himself, and for the first time ever Cruz went to Michael to get him to come play with him. It was the sweetest thing ever. So cute. I love that they enjoy each other’s company.
  • I made some monkey bread, which the boys loved.
  • Listening to Garrett sing “O Holy Night” at my family’s Christmas Eve celebration. It was GORGEOUS. Michael even started clapping in the middle of it.

[Disclaimer: I’m aware that many parents would give just about anything to have even a bad or mediocre day with their little one, but will never get the chance again. I’m sharing this in an effort to be transparent and to not give in to the urge to make things appear better than they are. That won’t help you, dear Reader, and it won’t help my boys if they ever catch me being hypocritical.]

Now the low moments:

  • After filling stockings and preparing the casserole and doing other Christmas stuff after the kids were in bed on Christmas Eve, I was exhausted (both of the kids got up the night before) and wanted nothing more than to watch the final installment of Return to Lonesome Dove on Netflix. But of course there was a Netflix outage. So I thought that I would at least get a good night’s sleep, but slept terribly. I woke up already tired on Christmas morning.
  • I overcooked the ham. It was still edible, but nowhere near as good as I’d hoped. This was really disappointing because the ham was the one thing my husband was looking forward to.
  • I cooked some other things, and the kids pretty much hated all of it. The one notable exception was the awesome monkey bread. I told my husband that I’m seriously considering having pizza for Christmas dinner next year.
  • We had bad storms go through the area, so I was on edge whenever I heard a gust of wind, wondering if a tornado was about to bear down on us. (Dramatic much??)
  • There was whining and carrying on whenever the kids didn’t get their way. Nothing too bad, totally age-appropriate, but it wearied me.
  • We didn’t put Cruz down for a nap, so he was just miserable all evening. Poor baby. We put him to bed at 7pm, a full hour and a half early, so he woke up at 9:30 and was up for a while.
  • I adore my family, but by 5pm this extreme introvert was aching for alone time. I really just wanted to find a quiet corner to drink a cup of coffee and read a book. But “good moms” spend every second of Christmas day with their children, so I did, too.

I’d like for next year to have more high moments, so here’s what I’m planning to do to make that happen:

  • Skipping the big meal. After my kids’ reactions this morning, breakfast casseroles are now dead to me. I’ll make some monkey bread and a casserole that I know the kids like.
  • Taking a Christmas bubble bath. The reality of being me is that I cannot spend every second of every day with other people, even my beautiful boys. I function better if I get some time to myself.
  • Reserving Christmas Eve evening for us. We reserve Christmas day for ourselves so that we can have some family time and let the kids play with their gifts, but we may have to do the same with the evening before. It’s just too exhausting to chase the kids around someone else’s house for a few hours, come home late, and then still have Christmas stuff to do once the kids are in bed.

Did you have a perfect Christmas day? How are you hoping to make next year better?

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