Can you even believe that Christmas is only a few days away? We spent the weekend doing the things we should have done earlier—cutting down the tree, decorating said tree and making the Christmas cutout cookies. I don’t know why these things all seem so magical in theory, but the reality is that nobody seems to get much enjoyment out of any of it. The kids fight over who gets to hang which ornament and who is decorating which cookie, with what icing and it goes on and on and on. Instead of telling them about all the special ornaments, I am mediating and yelling “Wait, don’t touch that one!” and cleaning up broken shards of glass (Thanks Liv). I am left frazzled, and though we end up with a decorated tree, and a tray of sugar cookies I’m also left with a huge mess to clean up in the form of icing smears and lopsided ornament clumps and…well, you get the picture.
I’m really struggling here. I want my kids to have great Christmas memories that aren’t just about waking up on Christmas morning to a mountain of presents under the tree. I want to have traditions that we all enjoy together and look forward to every year. I want things to be seamless and fun and stress free. Does that not exist? Can I force it to exist somehow?
I did that portable north pole thing for the kids last week and psyched them up for a big surprise. They watched their videos from Santa in turn, and I was sure their little minds were being blown. And then Lucy said “You know mom, when you said you had a surprise for us, I thought it would be better…like a present or something.” It doesn’t seem like I can win.
I am officially on Christmas burnout, and I haven’t even wrapped yet. I know it will all be worth it in the end. I will have smiling, grateful kids. But right now, it’s hard to see the light.