December 12, 2007

The Perfect Christmas

Is it just me or do you wish you could buy some extra time during the Christmas season? I tell ya, it is just too busy. This time of year there is an epidemic of hurry up disease and we all have it. What is the cure? Hmmm... SLOW DOWN! Seriously, do we have to take part in every cookie exchange, holiday party, etc. etc.? What would happen if we said "no!" Would the universe as we know it come crashing down?
Last year, I would say our family had the hurry ups pretty extensively. We wanted to take part in every new Christmas experience that Texas had to offer and we were back home in Washington for two weeks to fulfill our established traditions there. When Christmas was over and we were back at our home in Texas, we didn't know where Christmas had gone. With all the rush, we felt that we just flat out missed Christmas with our rapidly aging little girls. So we decided this year, we would take it slow.
We are not volunteering for every Christmas service project that the church is putting on. We are not going to every little event. We are not taking Christmas pictures at the portrait studio or with Santa, we are doing that with our own cameras in front of our own special tree. Not that we have checked out of Christmas. We are just narrowing our commitments. We have about 2 things a week that we are participating in, some more time consuming than others.
I think as a parent, mom or dad, we put some huge pressure on our selves to make the perfect Christmas experience for our kids. We want to create memories that they will take with them into adulthood. Step back though, think about it, what kind of memories are you creating? If your current Christmas schedule is symptomatic of your undiagnosed case of hurry up disease, you may be creating memories of stress and frustration from never achieving that perfect Christmas. I caught myself, well I guess my husband caught me, last week when I was making sugar cookies with the girls getting stressed because they weren't using the cookie cutters "right." I don't want my girls to think that "making Christmas cookies is no fun with mom because she gets grouchy." I really don't want my girls to think that Christmas is a time to be stressed and hurried when really, it is a time to be joyful and thankful for the gift that God sent to earth, wrapped in swaddling clothes. An imperfect Christmas, no room at the inn, no clothes for the new baby. But a perfect child sent to live and die for us. That is the cure for hurry up disease.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was just thinking about that - creating the "perfect Christmas" yesterday. And I realized that the best memories I have from childhood Christmases were not events that were attended but time spent doing fun (and free) things with family - singing Christmas Carols, driving around looking at lights, playing games with cousins, etc. What a great reminder to slow down, Katie! Thanks! Kristi