Wednesday, January 1, 2014

I Guess I'll Post About Christmas

So, let me admit something. I'm not that big of a fan of Christmas. Its just...overrated. Overhyped. Stressful. Too much work. And at the end of the day I usually feel kind of blah. The only thing that has changed that for me is being a mom.
When my living room is lit only by the Christmas tree in the mornings and at night, this boy loves to stare at it. And pluck a few ornaments to play with, how nice of us to hang so many fun toys right there on this crazy tree we put in the house. There, reflected on his sweet face, I can see why I even bother with this hectic and stressful holiday.

This year Ava had her very first Christmas program at her preschool. I was pretty sure she would not say her one line, The greatest gift of all. But she surprised me. Belted that thing out in her high-pitched little voice like it was her job. Got herself on the good list.

Alana had her Christmas play a week or so before Ava's. It was...interesting. No traditional Christmas songs. It was about penguins finding & saving Santa, and therefore Christmas. She played a penguin. I'm expecting her Tony nomination for Best Penguin in a musical to be announced anytime now. 

Every year I feel like there are obligatory things that I must do to get into the holiday spirit. But as life gets crazier I never feel like I accomplish all of those things. I want to watch every Christmas movie we own, especially Elf, but its hard to find a chance to watch them right at the end of the fall semester when I have postponed writing 2,000 word papers until the last possible minute. I want to leisurely decorate my Christmas tree while sipping hot chocolate and listening to Christmas music (even though I hate Christmas music), but just getting the ornaments on the tree without Witten breaking them is a feat in itself. Its a miracle there are even still ornaments on our tree. A MIRACLE PEOPLE. The only thing I feel like I actually accomplished from my holiday to-do list was making gingerbread houses. But we made them out of graham crackers. I'm not eating them anyway, so that is the best solution all around.

Christmas Eve this year we made the decision to do nothing. Well nothing for everybody else, there was still plenty of stuff for me to do. Dinner doesn't cook itself. It was really nice to stay home though, I would rarely leave my house if given the choice. My inlaws came over and brought the kids their presents, after which they could have stopped receiving gifts and still had enough stuff. So many Frozen toys were present at our house this year.
This isn't specifically a "Christmas" picture, but I took it on Christmas Eve. So there. 

On Christmas morning when everybody had finally pulled themselves out of bed, we opened gifts. Three kids worth of stuff can be kind of chaotic. It got a little ridiculous. David and I didn't even open our stuff till the kids had left the room to play with their stuff.

After the present opening frenzy, and then piling/bagging the aftermath, we eventually moved on to the part of the day when I force my children to sit in front of the tree and pose for pictures. Sometimes they are willing to smile and cooperate, and sometimes they are named Witten.

Every holiday I take lots of pictures, but once we leave our house that pretty much stops. I rarely take any pictures wherever else we go, even though there were plenty of photo ops. I guess I should work on that, but I don't want to be lost behind my camera lens while everyone in my extended family avoids me because they hate pictures. I took 3 pictures once I left my house on Christmas. All of Witten. And he was just playing like this in all of them.
Although I begrudgingly celebrate this holiday every year, I have to admit that the good outweighs the bad. The smiles on my kids faces are worth lugging in all the decorations. The excitement on Christmas morning is worth the hours spent wrapping presents. And every holiday as a parent is 100 times better than before I had kids, because they give me a reason to want to celebrate, even if it means picking up 5 garbage bags full of wrapping paper afterwards.

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