Halloween is over. If you're sneaky you managed to get the costume hidden away and hide (or eat!) most of the candy. Now it's time (sigh) to turn our attention to the winter holidays. How can you delay thinking about it for even a second more. Every ad and commercial is talking about how they are going to save Christmas, make the holidays cheaper, brighter or happier! I love Halloween, I usually dread the rest of the Holidays.
No, I am not a Scrooge or a Grinch. I used to love the holidays, but then I grew up. The pressure to give the best gift, the right gift, enough gifts. The irritation of shopping, of preparing. The stress of trying to plan and schedule, whose family you see what day for how long. It was always stressful (I'll spare you the family drama) but when you add little ones in the mix, everyone wants you, for every party, all at the same time and it's even more stressful. Especially with babies. My 3 year old knows Christmas is coming, what it is etc. My 18 mo, not a clue. All she will know is that she is tired, hungry and has spent too much time in the car and too much time being told, no. Don't touch this, don't touch that, please sit quietly. It's hard on her, and its hard on me to throw her schedule off so much.
But my 3 year old; he loves it, every bit of it is exciting and wonderful. I was reading a post on Chicago Mom's Blog and one of the writers said this: “We all know how our kids' sense of wonder and fun can renew holidays that we may have been looking at with an adult's jaded eye.”
That's me, the jaded eye. He sees a chance to see family who adore him and that he doesn't always see. I see a long drive, strained conversation, a long napless day, the glut of new toys. He hears we get to make cookies. He can't wait! He is excited to measure and pour, to hear the roar of the blender to use the cookies press, to sprinkle sugar on warm cookies. I see the mess, the clean up, the extra time it will take. I am going to try to change that this year, I am going to try to renew myself this holiday season and see life through their eyes.
It's almost resolution time anyway, might as well start early! I'm a chronic resolution maker. I see every new month, new week, new day, as a chance to start over and do better. That's not to say I'm good at keeping them, just good at making them! However this is one that I think will be good for everyone in my family. No one else expects me to be Martha Stewart, why should I expect that of myself? No one will know that I ignored boxes of stuff needing to be unpacked so that I could watch the snow with my son. No one will care, except my son. He doesn't know that one particular cousin makes me cringe, all he knows is that cousin always has candy and that is exciting! So I will try to capture that excitement, and if I don't feel it myself, at least relish in watching him feel it. I will try to live in the moment, even if there are boxes to unpack and dishes to wash.
Now I know my personality, I will never be able to fully live in the moment like a child. I also know that part of being the adult is not living in the moment, someone has to plan the dinners, make sure the bills are paid, that the pajamas are clean. I hope however to try (as soon as all the boxes are unpacked!) to enjoy each moment and relish in every new discovery, especially this holiday season. Whether it be a new book, a snow flurry or just discovering how much fun it is to watch a toddler enjoy life. I will reclaim the holidays as a time of wonder and joy and if it means that there is one less home made gift or treat so be it.