Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Christmas Season

I have not been as excited about Christmas this year, and I am  still trying to figure out why. Could it just the self imposed bucket list? The pressure to make things magical when all I want to do is face plant on my bed? Last year I was so organized, largely because Nathaniel was on paternity leave and I was still high on  baby hormones. This year I am just plain tired and Levi is taking exhaustion to new levels.  I think I need to give myself some permission to dread the workload associated  with Christmas, as well as the permission to let go of some things.
I doubt I will be writing individual messages in each Christmas card. Our annual letter and crazy family photo with have to suffice. I am keeping gifts to a minimum, as we are planning on renting a cabin in the interior with some friends and hope to connect with family at Harrison Hot Springs as well. I think that making memories with friends and family hold far more value than gifts that loose their novelty in a couple of weeks.  I am trying to focus on things that truly bring our family joy rather than additional stress.
Ordinarily I purchase everyone's gifts, including my own, but this year, I refuse to do so. Instead, I have given Nathaniel a list of gift suggestions so that he can do his part. I will be nice to open gifts I have not wrapped myself.

 I might actually bake a few Christmas goodies things this year as Amelia seems keen to help me in the evenings after the younger children have succumbed to exhaustion. Last night we made Christmas toffee and the sweetest little macaroon trees. Amelia thoroughly enjoyed my undivided attention. After I finally sent her to bed I did dishes until 10:30pm and then collapsed into bed myself. 
Every morning I make a lists of what I hope to accomplish that day, and each day I am reminded that I was too ambitious. I am a morning person and often feel like the world in my oyster at the start of the day. By 4pm I am completely overwhelmed by the volume in my house and the amount of debris underfoot.  As organized and well intentioned as I might be the previous night, it all undone each morning  when, in 30 minutes, Levi has shoved a chair up against the counter and tossed the contents of our baking drawer onto the floor, removed the skins from a bag of onions, and smeared boogers on the couch, all while I try and brush the girl's tangled hair, make breakfast, and toss Amelia's lunch into her backpack (if I have had the foresight to sign the appropriate forms and pack her lunch the night before). Sometime amidst the chaos, I  try and find a few minutes to sneak into our bedroom where Nathaniel is sleeping (after working 12 hour nightshift) and blindly grab something on the floor and hope that it is clean.

 I could get better at prepping lunches the night before, and picking out my outfit for the following day, but after I have dealt with the chaos from one day, I hardly have the energy to prepare for the next. I like to fantasize  about the day when I will take an entire day to prep meals for the week, and clean every surface of my home with bleach, but for now I will try to ignore the grimy surfaces and throw meals together at the last minute. I am realizing that I am not a type A sort of person. I dream of being that sort of person, but it's not how I actually function, or perhaps how I am able to function at this stage of my life. So yes, I want a picture perfect Christmas tree, décor and time to wrap presents like Martha Stewart but I am aware of my limitations and reality. Ha, this year I will be thankful if the tree remains upright. At the moment, only the upper half is decorated, as the lower decoration have been gleefully removed by my 16 month old.  Lowered expectations people. I "should" be scrubbing my floor right now as my three children are happily playing in the fort they have constructed out of cushions and nearly every blanket in my linen closet (which contains ZERO actual linen) but instead I am blogging about my life, my heart, my expectations and my reality. And it makes me happy to do so. Not to mention the fact that I won't be cranky when my floor get destroyed during the next snack break, which will inevitably be requested in the next ten minutes. Such is my life; my crazy,  messy, loud and wonderful life.                                                 
Amelia really wants to participate in the Christmas play at our church and I would love to sing in the choir for the Christmas Eve service. This year we intentionally skipped the Ladysmith light up (although we loved it last year) and instead, took the kiddos swimming. I completely forgot about the Santa clause parade as well as the other "Christmas themed" events that take place at the end of November. Whatever. I have no desire to run around like a chicken with my head cut off, trying to "do it all".
I am still planning on doing December daily album this year, but I have taken a more simplified approach and purchased an easy to assemble kit from stampin up. Ordinarily I select beautiful Christmas paper from a craft store hand cut each page, stamp journaling card and numbers, but this year I knew I would not have the time or the energy to do so. I am looking forward to seeing how it comes together.



Glyn Eales said...

So lovely reading this Jocelyn. (ha ha... I have FINALLY got onto your blog page.) You write beautifully. I think your December plans sound great. (not trying to "do it all" but being realistic) and so lovely to hear about the time away after Christmas.

Caroline said...

I hear ya Joce! Sounds like little Levi and Harvey are in the same stage right now! It's exausting, huh?

Love your blog posts. You inspire me!