Well, Christmas 2014 is officially over. Kind of doesn't feel right as we've had spring like temperatures, but it's true. Christmas came and went without a flake of snow on the ground. In years past I've gotten things going well in advance, but I've been slipping in recent years. No more mailing cards right after Thankgiving or having most of my shopping done before the calendar flips to December. With each kid, I've slowed down a bit, but I manage to get all the important stuff done with time to spare.
This year, a bout of the stomach flu went through the house the week before Christmas. And I lost almost a whole week. Truly, I lost it. I was at home almost that entire week, either caring for sick kids or being sick myself or recovering from being sick with 3 or 4 hour mid-day naps. I was totally unproductive and then when all was back to normal, I found myself with a couple days left to get it all done. I missed parties and holiday sales and was overcome with stress, rather than Christmas spirit.
Finally, I figured I needed to let it go. We made a visit to see Santa with a couple days to spare and although the bigger boys were not at all into the visit, the two youngest ones still excitedly put in gift requests and posed for pictures.
Christmas was so magical to me as a child. It was truly the highlight of the year. Really, we didn't have much. I almost never got anything on my long, unreasonable list. But, even as a child I knew Christmas was about much more than getting gifts. I cherished our Christmas Eve dinner when all six of us and my big brothers and sisters' spouses were there together for a big meal. Although there's a mountain of responsibilities in executing the holiday festivities as an adult, there are at least a few moments where they melt away as you see your child's excitement. It's truly magical.