Written By: Jessica Cook
It took a Mom’s night out to make me realize I was doing Christmas all wrong!
I mean, it’s not like there is really a right or wrong way to do Christmas. I’m just saying, for my family, I’m doing it all wrong. I’m expecting to much from them during the holidays. Between the endless holiday themed events, baked goods for every person we know, the perfectly decorated house and wrapped gifts. I’ve lost sight of just spending time with the ones I love and reminding them of what the real meaning of Christmas is.
Every year we bring out the Christmas decorations and tree, the day after Thanksgiving. I guess you could blame the next part on my upbringing, but I suffer from P.O.P.D. (Perfect Ornament Placement Disorder). I blame this on my mother!!! The kids are not allowed to touch the tree, aside from their special ornaments, when it comes time to decorating. Even during the few times that I have allowed my daughter to help, we ended up fighting and she would stomp away. What kind of fun is that for them? What do I gain from having a perfectly decorated tree? Absolutely nothing! So this year I am handing the tree decorating over to my kids. I will most likely consume large amounts of wine while I sit back and cringe at their ornament placement. But gosh darn it, I’m going to do it!
My daughter came to me this year to say she was to old to attend our yearly “tradition” of the Nutcracker. My oldest son has also informed me that he is to old for Santa pictures, holiday crafts and Toby our elf. Excuse me while I hide in the closet and cry! They have been saying this to me for a couple of years now, and yet I still forced the activities onto them. I was bitter and moody at first, but then came to the realization that now I can enjoy Christmas with them in a more grown up way. Besides, I still have my six year old to enjoy those “traditions” with. So, I’ve passed along the family Elf to my oldest children. Goodbye are the nights of waking up at 2:00 am in a panic, because I forgot to move the elf! They are excited and have already come up with fun activities for the elf to do.
Holiday concerts, Christmas parties, Holiday events and so on. I’m always trying to drag the kids to every possible Holiday themed activity I can find. I tell myself, it’s because we are making holiday memories. In reality I’m over doing it and we all end up exhausted by the time Christmas has finally arrived. So this year, I’m allowing them to decide. If they would like to go look at lights, we will go look at lights. If they want to go look at fake snow, then we will go look at fake snow. I am no longer planning out their weekends and cramming their Holiday break with events.
Much to my extended families dismay, we have decided to go away for Christmas this year. I came home one day and decided I wanted to see snow for Christmas. My kids and husband have been asking for a couple of years now to go away. I always turned them down, because I said we had “traditions” to uphold with our extended family. I finally realized it’s about the five of us. It’s about the memories we create with each other. Our kid’s are getting so big and time is flying by. I wanted to offer my kids an experience for Christmas, rather than a bunch of random gifts they do not need. We will be taking off to stay in a cabin the week of Christmas just the five of us and I couldn’t be happier. I feel relaxed and at peace with the decision.
So this year, I am going to do less of what I THINK is expected of me during the holiday season and more of what my kid’s actually WANT to do! In the words of the Bad Mom’s cast, “I’m taking back Christmas this year!”
Happy Holidays from my family to yours!!!