Denial: A Page in my Christmas Book

The boxes are down from the attic, stacked in haphazard fashion in the garage and waiting to be refilled.

I am not ready.

For seven weeks and three days, Christmas has filled this house. Santa, baby Jesus and all of their various snowmen and reindeer friends have been happily perched on shelves, hanging from the tree or just chilling out on top of the piano.

Last night we finally took the tree down, only because the garbage man will pick it up today.

Everything else remains.

I am not ready.

Not ready for these holidays when the kids are so old that Santa’s magic no longer has any power…when nobody believes they heard reindeer on the rooftop as they snuggled in their beds.

I love our Christmas traditions — cutting down our tree at the same farm each year, decorating it together. The unwrapping of each ornament and my incessant need to tell the story of each and every one. Again.

Homemade cinnamon rolls Christmas morning…gingerbread houses carefully decorated with all-things-sugary, only to be eaten later in chunks.

I love how my teens still expect certain things to remain the same about Christmas, even without the magic of Santa.

But there was a shift this season — ever so slight — and I felt it in my heart. My family is growing and changing, and while it’s amazing and awesome and wonderful?

There are days when I would gladly take a page from my Christmas Memories Book and have a do-over.

Like the year I found out I was pregnant on Christmas morning, but kept the secret all day long as we watched our 3-year-old son open presents and laugh.

Or the year Santa brought the huge dollhouse bookcase for my daughter that was taller than she was.

Maybe the year when we sat on the couch with grandparents — all showered, ready for presents and drinking our coffee — while little ones somehow slept way past their usual wakeup time.

This book — my Christmas Memories Book — has one page left.

One page.

Nineteen years of these memories fill this book and flood my heart when I open it.

And now? I need to fill in that one last page.

I am not ready.

I will buy another book — maybe even another with 20 years to fill. And I will cherish each page as they are filled with the new memories of our growing family…a family that will still hold dear to old traditions while the kids bring in something new each year. A friend, someone special, a spouse one day, maybe a grandchild or two.

I think I will be ready by then.

Santa’s Not Her Bag

There once was a little girl, who was quite tiny and cherub-like on her very first Christmas.

Only four months old, to be exact.

And her very proud parents did what many well-meaning parents do.

They took her to see Santa Claus. Her older brother knew the routine one must follow in order to get the goods from the Big Bearded Man.

You write a nice note, you sit on his lap and chat a bit, smile for the pictures, and swear up and down that you’ve been nice (not naughty). This would be the first year her brother could add I’ve been nice to my sister to his list of good deeds.

This little girl, however, was not on board.

She was deer-in-the-headlights scared to be sitting on Santa’s lap, which then led to tears. So sad to see such a little one crying in Santa’s workshop.

Her parents chalked it up to her littleness.

Problem is, several years later she had never outgrown her dislike of Santa.

 And yet, we kept on taking her to see him.

For a picture like this, wouldn’t you?

This post is linked up with Tonya of Letters for Lucas and Natalie at Mommy of a Monster & Twins for their Santa Photo link-up!

Creative Kristi Designs

Christmas Perfection

As hard as we may try to create the perfect holiday experience for our families each year, the truth is it doesn’t really exist.

Unless you change your perspective on what perfection truly is.

It’s Wednesday, so I’m hanging out over at Moonfrye talking about the memories you’ll find in the Christmas chaos.

And a certain little girl who made me laugh.

I’d love for you to visit me over there today.

Christmas 2010

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas
All around my home;
Take a look at the gingerbread men, I’m baking them once again
And houses topped with frosting mounds of snow.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas,
I’ve been to every store,
And the prettiest sight to see is the glass of wine that will be
Behind my own front door.

A pair of Ugg boots and to color my roots
Is the wish of Sherri and then;
Friends to call and talk, maybe go for a walk
Will help me to find my zen;
And the kids and I can hardly wait for school to start again. (Ha!)

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas
All around my home;
There’s a tree and a ton of gifts, on the fireplace Santa sits,
The only thing that’s missing is the snow.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas;
Soon the fun will start,
And the people I love the best, we’ll be hanging around our nest,
And that’s my favorite part……

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and yours!

Ho Ho Ho Holiday Swap

I am guest posting today over at In Pursuit of Martha Points for my bloggy friend Lori!

A small group of us decided to do a Ho Ho Ho Holiday Swap where we would each share a holiday memory while guest posting on another blog. So when you finish reading my guest poster, go on over to Lori’s and read my post here.

Lori is one of my absolutely favorite bloggers, and she’s just as hilarious and sweet in person as she is in the blog world. So when I was picked to guest on her site I was excited! But then again, Lori has some big, funny shoes to fill (no, she’s not a clown) so I got nervous. So while my Christmas memory might not be all warm and fuzzy, please go check it out anyway.

Now, I have a special guest poster here today, Mama P from Keeper of the Penguins! If Mama P were to describe herself with a simple little list, it would look like this:

* Twenty something stay at home mama of three beautiful children.
* Wife
* Sister
* Friend
* Full time college student

As if that’s not enough, she is married to her high-school sweetheart and their three little ones are under 3 years old! She is a caring mom and writes from her heart. Her story about giving is truly one of the most touching things I’ve read this Christmas season.

Giving really does equal Getting

When I was younger Christmas time was always my favorite time of year, not because of the sweet sounds of holiday music playing, not because of the snow flakes falling from the sky, the hustle and bustle of the shoppers, and not even the presents that Santa so secretly left under the tree.

None of this ever mattered to me, not even as a child. I found Christmas time to be the best time of year, because of the feeling of love being with family, because of the feel I get watching how happy others are to open their gifts, for me, it’s just about the happiness of others.

I thrive on that.

As a child, I never remember believing in Santa Claus, what I can remember is that Christmas time was bleak in our household, my grandmother just didn’t have enough money for presents. Whatever the circumstances were, we got by.

But one story from my childhood, one Christmas sticks out more than others.

When I was in the 3rd grade, (maybe 9yrs old) My school decided to do the Angel tree program, each of the classrooms were given 3 to 4 children to buy for, or we had the option of just bringing in a gift, and it would be handed out to whoever was in that age group.

It was something that I couldn’t wait to do, giving Christmas to someone else. Making someone else happy, so of course I rushed right home to see what I had, or could get for the child my group had. It was a 5 year old little boy.

I was crushed when I went home and couldn’t find anything to take in, when I asked my grandmother if we could go buy the little boy something she told me no. I remember crying about it, and being really sad but being 9, I forgot about it after a few days.

Around that time a neighbor of my grandmothers bought me a beaded art set as a Christmas gift, and a Thank you gift for helping her around the house. I was SUPER excited, I was going to make bracelets and necklaces. I was over the moon, but then I decided that as much as I wanted this, it would be better if I took it to school, and donated it to our Angel tree, and so I did.

About a week before Christmas a man named Tom came to our house, he was from the local Catholic Church, and he was bringing us a Christmas dinner, some basic necessities, and Christmas presents.

On Christmas morning I was up early, ready and waiting for my Grandmother to let me open the presents, the first 2 or 3 were clothes, a coat, and a few different books, then I found a square box, with a pretty red bow. I tore it open, giddy with anticipation.

and then, I received my very own bead set.

I could make bracelets, I could make necklaces.

Somehow, the very toy that I had turned into our Angel tree, had made its way right back to me.

In that moment, I learned a lesson, that still resides with me today, and something I hope I can teach my own children.

When you do something good, it will come back to you.

Sometimes we want to be selfish, and that is okay but it is also wonderful to give to those less fortunate. Now that I am an adult, Christmas is still my favorite time of year. Each year we spend Christmas with my Husband’s family, we gather together, we eat, we talk, play and enjoy each other. Then we open a mound of presents.

But we do it together, as it was for me as a child, there are some in the family that just don’t have it, and it brings a great happiness over me to be able to buy them gifts, and watch their happy little faces as they open them.