Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas came. Christmas was amazing. Christmas went.

We had a beautiful Christmas, as always. We are ever, ever so blessed & my hope & prayer is that amidst all the hoopla, we never lose sight of our blessings. More importantly, we never lose sight of the reason we celebrate Christmas. Growing up, we always celebrated Christmas. My mother, every single year, went overboard. There were so many presents, by the time we were teenagers, we were getting a little sick of them. Plus, the rule was, only one person could open a gift at a time, so it literally took us hours to get thru all the gifts. I remember one Christmas opening gifts took 4 hours. But there was one thing missing - Jesus. We celebrated His holiday, without Him. In my opinion, my parents had a lot of nerve doing that. I find it appalling. So very thankful my children are being raised the proper way, knowing why we celebrate this awesome holiday.

Every Christmas Eve, we celebrate with my husband's side. They all came here yesterday. It was awesome. So much yummy food that blew my blood sugar level out of the water. LOL I enjoyed every minute of it. ;o) Good conversations. Much laughter. Special Christmas gifts. Beautiful memories. Our final guests left around 7:30 p.m..

Last night, when I finally had time to very, very briefly collapse & reflect, I discovered I am absolutely adamant about changing our Christmas preparations. I say it every year, but next year, changes will be implemented. I'm determined.

It's been a very difficult week. Shopping was not complete. Not one single gift had been wrapped. My boys behavior was pretty much dispicable, which made for M-W being miserable for everyone. The house was not clean & ready for guests. Groceries were not bought for all the food that needed preparing. I was sick (fortunately, I had an antibiotic from a few weeks prior that I had not filled, so I filled it this week. Yay!) Jags was very sick & went to CareNow one night. She received a steroid & antibiotic. Merc was quickly following in Jags' footsteps, so I ran her to CareNow one night. She didn't need an antibiotic. Our plumbing backed up one morning, which resulted in a completely flooded master bath (& parts of our master closet), so we lost time handling that. Hubby typically takes the week of Christmas off, but this year he chose the week after Christmas. His work this week was extremely busy. Tuesday we were alerted by a neighbor that there has been a suspicious vehicle in our neighborhood for several days & the police have been notified (more than once) & the tags of the vehicle have been ran. Thursday early evening, hubby & I feel confident we spotted this suspicious person (right in front of our home, where's he's been spotted before), so we took time Thursday evening alerting more neighbors. By the time our Thursday ended, we headed to bed about 1:00 a.m.

Friday, Christmas Eve, started again bright & early. We had last minute preparations to complete before family arrived around 12:30 p.m. Low & behold everything worked out just perfectly. I knew it would. It always does. But lurking in the shadows was exhaustion. Big time.

By the time everyone left, the children were wiped. Which is an extremely huge blessing, on Christmas Eve. ;o) We got everyone shuttled to bed, only to discover they were all hungry. Back down they all came. Bents had a horrible tummy ache (he was the most tired, due to being up reading at 1:00 a.m. on many nights!) & hubby even had to run to CVS to get him some Pepto (we never use that & will never again - it has 2 different reds in it!). We were thinking it could be something serious, but finally the pain ceased & he's been fine today, Christmas Day.

In a not so good predicament, hubby & I then had to pull out all of the children's gifts, sort them into piles & begin putting together & wrapping. None of this had been done in advance. There had been no time. By this time I'm now suffering from a severe tummy ache & thinking I was going to throw up. But again, we got it all accomplished, it worked out just perfectly, & we slid into bed @ 1:00 a.m. Totally, completely & utterly exhausted.

And the funny part? With all the goings on, we totally forgot to purchase groceries for our turkey, dressing & all the trimmings Christmas day dinner. LOL Cracked us up. We have no groceries for us. And believe it or not, because we are so tired, we are thankful there is no large meal to cook! Ü

The above is why I am determined to implement new changes. Not just a few - but many. Such as:

*All gifts will be purchased, documented & wrapped in advance. Hopefully, way in advance. And put under the tree. Because our children are still young, we have never put gifts under the tree for fear of them being destroyed or unwrapped. Next year they will be displayed under the tree for admiring. And building anticipation. :)

*Menus planned in advance, & as much food as possible, purchased in advance.

*The number of gifts my children receive lowered. I think they receive too many gifts, too many expensive gifts (I feel my mother, at Christmastime, creeping in ;o) - I need to remember they receive many gifts from family members - so definite changes will be made in this area. My hope is to get inspiration & suggestions from others & try to come up with a new plan. I.e. does each child get a certain number of gifts? Or does one set a certain price for each child? Etc.

*Deep cleaning can begin in advance, so the last minute cleaning can be done quickly (bathrooms, dusting, mopping, vacuuming).

*My "I want to do" Christmas fun list is always too exuberant for the amount of time we have to actually do them. Resulting in, many items on my list don't get done. I want an abundance of time to watch Christmas movies, view Christmas lights, bake lots of different Christmas cookies w/ my children, do Christmas crafts with my children - I just want ample time to spend & be with my children. They are only little once.

*I want to bring back annual Christmas jammies/lounge wear. I never used to do this - I borrowed the idea from someone else for a year or 2 & fell more in love with my Christmas photos. Too darn cute. I want more time to find & purchase color coordinated jammies (that they can wear all year, of course!)

*And the exhaustion. I desire no more exhaustion. Now I know at Christmastime, with all the activities, hitting the bed tired is expected. But last night, Christmas Eve, I was on the verge of flat out passing out. I wasn't even sure I could sort & wrap the children's gifts. But of course I did, of course we did, all the while swearing we would never experience this misery during Christmas again. I am certain, we won't. And I am very excited about that fact! Ü

We picked up Panda Express for lunch & noticed Albertson's was open. Hubby just ran back to pick up some bananas & frozen pizza & they are closed. LOL It's time for me to ransack the freezer/frig/pantry & see what I can muster up for dinner. ;o)

Tomorrow we are back at it, because my side of the family is coming on Monday. So we get to do it all over again. However, much less elaborate. ;o) Then, Audi's birthday is Friday, Jags' is Saturday & Merc's is Thursday.

Oy! Merry Christmas! ♥

(Enjoy the video of my nephew (he's on the left!) playing a little "Bachman jig" last year. Ü )


Bobbi Janay said...

I agree, on smaller being nicer.

Myssie said...

"Santa" brings each kid 3 gifts because the 3 wise men brought Baby Jesus 3 gifts. And then my husband and I give them 1 gift. It works nicely!

Whitney said...

@Myssie, that is EXACTLY what we do with our kids except the Santa part. We don't tell our kids they come from Santa but they know Santa is a small part of the Christmas Decor, kind of like gingerbread men & snowmen. We spent approximately $100 on each boy this year. Next year it will probably be less since we will have 3 children.

Bridget said...

I'm glad that your family had a Merry Christmas!