Is It Possible To Have The Perfect Christmas?

Growing up we had as close as you can get to what most would consider the perfect Christmas. It was a month long of celebration, baking, caroling, christmas concerts. family, and presents. Our tree was up on the first monday of the month. Wee all decorated to the music of the 70’s and 80’s. We had albums that told stories of Rudolph and Santa. A nativity advent calendar was attented to daily to see the scripture that foretold of the birth of the Saviour.

Christmas eve was culminated with the story of the Christ child and us dressing up in the parts. My dad was Joseph, one of us girls were Mary, the rest of the girls were angels because shepherds were boys. A doll was the baby Jesus and my mom took the photo. Then we would hang out stockings and go to bed with our stomaches full of anticipation for the next morning. I remember trying to stay up to see the red glow of Rudolph’s nose or to hear jingle bells and hooves stomping on the roof. Try as I might I always fell asleep too soon.

The excitement would make our sleep fitful at best and finally one of us would get everyone up usually by 6:00 am to open the presents.  My dad would try to stage it for us and when he was successful we would come into the living room with a lit tree surrounded by presents. I gotta say it was awesome.

Now I have a family of my own and I wish for the same joy and excitement, but being on the other side I realize how unattainable that “dream” really is. My parents practically shopped till they dropped. Even one year my mother went shopping with an eye-patch due to the irritation of the florescent lighting on her eye. They were worn out and so were their bank accounts.

Every year I try to get my tree up by the first monday, I bake, I shop and yet I feel guilty. My husband and I are still wrapping presents at 2:00 am mostly because we hadn’t wrapped any yet and I feel tired and slightly crabby. This is not the perfect Christmas at all. So why am I nocking myself out for something so unattainable?

Thanks to Norman Rockwell and others we have this idea of what christmas should be. We kill ourselves trying to make the perfect christmas and in the process screwing ourselves financially. Then when its not done in time, we try to drown our guilt in the soft chewiness of a turtle or many turtles leading weight gain and even more guilt.

Who said Christmas cards had to be out by American Thanksgiving? Why must I feel guilty and inadequate for not making everything just so? Martha? Or maybe it was some lady who didn’t have children. If she did she probably have a cook and a house keeper and nanny to so she could get all of the other stuff done.

This year due to things beyond my control we are not having a tree. I felt bad at first but now I am relieved. When we told the kids Mr. Wonderful said this year we are having a “Daddy style” Christmas. I have baked and partied. I will party some more. We will carol (sorry Tim). We will not go into debt. I have not sent cards. My packages are going to be late. I don’t feel an ounce of guilt for those because I have given myself permission to enjoy the season and guess what, I have. In fact this is the first time in a long time that I have had fun. There is something to be said for the male way of doing things. It may not be perfect but what is? And its a lot more fun.

Well I am off to the post office so my package for New Zealand can get there by February.

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7 thoughts on “Is It Possible To Have The Perfect Christmas?

  1. The “perfect” Christmas is really so subjective, anyway. There are a lot of things I wish we had/did for Christmas now that we stay home with our kids for Christmas, but it’s just not possible. Until this afternoon, we had a total of ONE present for all the people on our list. We are not sending out cards this year. We don’t have a tree topper or an advent calender or a matching stocking for Parker or a whole lot of other things that I’d really like for Christmas, but like you said, nothing is ever perfect. It’s supposed to be a fun holiday and it is absolutely going to be, no matter what we don’t have. 🙂

  2. Good for you!

    We tried for a low key Christmas this year and asked all the family to seriously BACK OFF with all the stuff they send that my kids (and Big and I) just don’t need AND we are trying to keep the meaning of the season at the forefront. Did anyone listen? NO. It drives me insane. One year I think we will run away at Christmas so no one can find us. Hehe.

  3. Thank you for this. It’s exactly the way I needed to start my morning. I am sending cards (I’ve already paid for the fixings!) but they will be simple and I am going to work on them at a friend’s house this morning: the kids can play and the mothers can visit and still get something done.

    We really do need to enjoy the holiday more and stress less.

  4. Sariah,

    Its still the middle of December and why have all that temptation out there anyway. So don’t feel guilty for only One present. As for coordinating stockings that is so a girl thing. Parker won’t care and besides each kid is an individual maybe they should express it through their stockings. Tree topper. My parents had the same one for 20 years. It was a poster board star that was made for me when I was a wee little one in primary. Let the boys cut their own star. My point is we feel guilty because we choose to feel guilty. It’s supposed to be Merry Christmas not Martha Christmas. Let go, and as soon as you do you will feel much better. Glad you are focussing on the fun.

    Kris,

    I would suggest mexico or Hawaii. Wouldn’t it be great to see how warm places celebrate.

  5. From a ‘grown up’ point of view our Christmas’s were never perfect as a kid but I don’t think I ever noticed. We really do put a lot of the pressure on ourselves. As I’m getting all bunched up about my Christmas card because I want them to be ‘just so’. I don’t think anyone else cares much.
    My hubby and I did spend Christmas in Bali one year (before kids) and it was lovely. So easy. No pressure.
    Although the holidays take on a new meaning and hopefully more fun with your own kids. I guess if I don’t get in my own way.

  6. Yup so I spent the entire day cleaning todya – but it wasn’t because of Christmas – nesting maybe? 🙂 Anyway, we try to make it a point to keep Christmases simple and if I don’t get something done then, oh well. As long as the family is having fun together and we are remembering the real reason for the season then Christmases will always be great. 🙂

  7. Hi Auwison, wass up?
    My idea of the perfect Christmas comes from books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I would love a Christmas where my children are delighted by the small stuff. I want a snug Christmas with my loved ones around me,I want a good meal, and I want to make beautiful music. Is that so much to ask? Anyway I think next year I will clear my calendar a little sooner so I’m not so STRESSED OUT TRYING TO ACHIEVE SOMETHING SIMPLE(????)It makes no sense.
    ttfn
    Carrie

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