Stop and Smell the Christmas Spirit
This is my living room. It looks exactly like this this morning… including the toys on the floor, few presents wrapped, and the decoration and wrapping boxes that have been sitting there for 2 weeks.
Why haven’t I put them away? Ugh.
Christmas is my favorite time of the year!
I love decorating (and spend a lot more time and money on it at Christmas than the rest of the year… THAT makes sense). Young Living sells an essential oil blend called Christmas Spirit and I was so excited I bought 3 bottles almost 2 months ago. I love buying presents for my boys and am tempted to go overboard every year (typically Paul is reigning me in BUT this year he was spotted buying a full arsenal of Nerf guns for the boys… including one for himself when we were “done and just getting the candy for their stocking”). I also love taking my boys on shopping trips for other children and teaching them about buying things for those in need. I love our family traditions like going to see lights, cookie baking, having hors d’oeuvres for Christmas Eve, and spending Christmas day in our own home watching our boys sparkle with excitement. I love that we chose long ago to not do Santa or Elf on a shelf but instead spend the nights leading up to Christmas focusing on the gift we were given in a Savior on Christmas night and pointing them to the Gospel.
But this year has been far from idyllic. We have barely had time to breathe much less truly enjoy the Christmas season.
We have had a babysitter 5 nights in the last 2 weeks and Paul or I have been gone another 4. Not much time for Advent readings… making me feel like we are missing the mark with teaching our children the true meaning of Christmas.
I have put so much effort into getting my decorations up that my house has been a complete wreck since Thanksgiving. Making me feel like a complete failure as a homemaker.
All of the events and responsibilities have led me to feel disconnected with work. I am genuinely passionate about this job and WANT to be involved with all aspects but time has been an issue lately. Making me feel that I am shortchanging my team.
We haven’t opened a school book once this month.
MAN do I feel judged just typing that.
Aside from reading and some field trips we just haven’t done school. Which really stresses me out because our Saxon math book says I should have done 12 lessons in December… Ahh! Makes me feel like I am not equipped to teach my children.
We haven’t had many home cooked meals.
We have only been to the gym once.
We haven’t baked a single cookie.
And the list goes on.
But today, things are changing. We are going to lean in and enjoy this time with our kids.
We are going to load everyone up in the car tonight to drink hot chocolate and look at Christmas lights. We are going to bake and decorate some sugar cookies this week. We are going to diffuse Christmas Spirit (man does that stuff smell awesome) and have a family game night. We are going to pop corn on the stove and watch a Christmas movie. We are going to have daily reminders about why we celebrate Christmas and the amazing gift we have in Jesus Christ. We are going to tuck our kids in bed, dim the lights and drink a bottle of wine in the glow of the tree, remembering that we love each other.
As I look back over pictures of our past Christmases I don’t remember all of the events we had planned, the gifts I bought, or even the food I made. I look at these sweet faces and think about the time that is gone. I will never again feed Townsend at 2am by the light of the tree. I will never again sit with Wyatt in my lap helping him rip the paper off his presents. I will never again get to witness their first Christmas movie, Christmas lights, Christmas parade or sip of hot cocoa.
So instead of worrying about how much work I am getting done, how much time is not being spent doing math, how clean my house is, or even how little “Christmas” we have done. I am choosing to lean in.
I am choosing to stop, put a little Christmas Spirit in the diffuser and snuggle up with my babies. Because the days might be so very grueling and long but the years are gone in a blink of the eye.