Where Are You Christmas?

“Where are you Christmas?  Why can’t I find you? Why have you gone away?”

“Where is the laughter you use to bring me?  Why can’t I hear music play?”

I am not lying when I say that Christmas is my most favourite time of year…it belongs to me and always has because I enjoy it so much and wish that the general good spirit and well wishes of all people could last all through the year – I am not naive to believe that it ever could. I constantly crave to “go all out” for my kids and create the wonderful spirit of Christmas that was created for me when I was a small child.  Growing up I didn’t come from a wealthy family and we didn’t have the fanciest things but Christmas no matter what was always a fun time…always cherished, forever enjoyed….somehow Mom always came through and our house was always decorated perfectly – the happiest memories of my child hood are built from memories given to me by my mother during the holidays.

When I think about Christmas and what it means for my family now…I still feel as if I’ve got a lot of sorting out to do.  Many of the things I enjoyed doing with Jacob when he was smaller are eliminated because Violet’s allergies prevent us from participating (the Santa Train for example).  In past years I’ve planned out fun activities to do with the family and it’s always gone well but this year I decided to be a little less organized and just let Christmas unfold as it does…whatever that may be.  I’ve had a lot of time off work recently thanks in part to all the overtime I worked in October and you’d think that I’d have used the numerous days off in December to do all the super Christmas related things I had hoped to accomplish but I’ve been sicker over the past 6 days than I have been in a long time.  All of the hard work I put in during the weeks leading up too now to prepare my house for Christmas has slowly started to disappear – toys from my children scatter the living room and the laundry pile grows but perhaps the worst part for me is that my Christmas tree has no decorations….

not

a

single

decoration.

I’ve been so sick with a nasty sinus infection and some kind of virus that is attacking my body (making me run fevers and feel totally exhausted) and because of that the house grows messy and the tree stays undecorated; my husband although he tries to help out is not a very good multi tasker and taking care of the kids while I rest and keeping up with housework just seems to be too much for him to manage all at the same time…..so the tree remains there….an empty slate.  I’ve tried to get my son excited about decorating the tree but he’s just not that interested and my daughter would rather eat the ornaments than do anything remotely tree like with them….so the responsibility as always falls back on me – the lover of Christmas.  I woke up this morning with a desire to “get er done” but as I look around my house at the ever-growing “to-do” list…the tree just seems to be low on the priority list and that makes me sad….the undecorated tree makes me depressed.

I have managed to wrap all of the presents I bought for my children which is a big task for me since I typically wrap presents on Christmas Eve after they have gone to bed and I’m really excited about the choices we’ve made for them this year.  I very rarely buy toys for my Children unless it is their Birthday or Christmas so yes I do “go a little overboard” on Christmas but as with all things I have known many people who would see what we have for our children as frugal and others who would think that they were “spoiled”…..for the record I do not see my children as spoiled…..they do not get what they want when they want it and understand and follow through (although sometimes reluctantly) with the word “no”….I confidently think that we are “middle of the road” in regards to what we decide to get for our children and this year I’m happy that most of our gifts were thought out and planned rather than spur of the moments during a toy sale at Walmart.  I guess aside from the Christmas tree woes I feel most down in the dumps about my lack of ability to give the gifts I’d love to give to the other people we love in our life – this year of all years there is just no budget because Mike and I chose personal health and well-being above everything else in 2010 and that has left the bank feeling a little strapped at times between his weight watchers, my jenny craig, and our duel gym memberships – all things we do not regret but it did take huge amounts of money from our budget…..we just can’t over extend ourselves during the holidays and “make up for it in the new year” so we vowed not to touch a single credit card for shopping this year.  I made a list for my children and nieces and stuck to the budget pretty religiously….I feel happy about that and most importantly though there are not fabulous gifts for all the adults in our lives I’m happy to be spending unique time with each of them – enjoying each other as Christmas was meant to be enjoyed.

We have big plans for ourselves in 2011…..so it’s a matter of getting through this holiday and connecting to the spirit of giving and family that I’ve always enjoyed through the years – I look forward to seeing the magic in the eyes of my children on Christmas morning, watching Sofia, Jacob, Violet & Gabriella  decorating the gingerbread house this coming weekend, lasagna at my dad’s house on Christmas eve, Jacob’s school concert this Thursday, having Victoria join us for Christmas morning present opening and brunch, Christmas day and dinner at my mom’s house, cookies and milk for Santa Claus…..and YES…when we get to it….I look forward to decorating the tree and sitting back to admire it on a quiet night with my husband….

The housework will get done and the laundry pile will grow smaller with effort….It’s just about realizing that the Christmas spirit is always present even with all of the rush of life around me.