We feel like the luckiest people in the world, celebrating Christmas with our family of four kids. Yet with all of the daily commotion, we have to make choices. Silly first world choices! But choices nonetheless. We chose family cookie baking over a Santa brunch with the cousins, brunch with friends over a quiet morning at home to do laundry. We chose a less than perfect family photo over hours of additional attempts to get Remy, who is not in the mood to smile these days, with one of his beaming beauties.
Dave and I made a pact: this would be our good enough Christmas. We will not attempt to do every single thing that comes our way. We will prioritize quiet moments with our kids and time with the people we care about most over raucous parties and perfection. We will balance sleep and socializing. We will listen to carols with the kids until our ears bleed, and take every possible moment to celebrate our family being all together.
So from “The Snowman” with the symphony and grandma and grandpa, to “The Nutcracker” with Sassy and cousins, to the Polar Express train ride and the Santa Rampage, we are infusing every week of December with some holiday fun! It’s a Christmas marathon, but we’re having a wonderful time. The kids all seem to respond to one event or another, and finally understand what an advent calendar is. Tess spent the beginning of the month waking up yelling, “but today is Christmas!”
In reality, trying to go to every activity, every party and every shop with four is simply impossible. Dave and I are both loving our tree and our Christmas cards all over the mantle. It’s OK that we don’t have Santas everywhere, and our candles don’t match. Listening to Tess and Remy make up words to Christmas carols is almost as entertaining as seeing Star Wars. Seeing Lilou discover the joy of presents every night as we open our advent gifts makes me smile. Dave, Joy and I decorated more Christmas cookies then all the kids combined. It doesn’t matter. We all still had a wonderful day. And listening to the stories about Jesus and Santa and Christmas trees and Olaf makes me laugh every time!
This is our fourth Christmas as parents. We learn to let things go in order to enjoy the things we can do to the fullest. As this one approaches, we both feel overwhelmed at finally having the family we’ve always dreamed about. What’s one more night out when this is what we come home to?
Let’s be clear – we are exhausted to the very core of our being. This entertaining and scheduled to the hilt December has been beyond our wildest dreams. Don’t get me wrong! On the morning of the 26th, I will be sound asleep with a big smile on my face. But we are hosting our first Christmas eve, and will have a wonderful Christmas day at my parents house with all of the cousins that are in town. Our kids are growing up with the same holidays from the movies that I got to enjoy, and I am so excited to see their excitement as they fall in love with the traditions I fell in love with decades ago.
As we hang a few ornaments on the tree, read our Christmas story, and light all of our Christmas candles, we will think of everyone who makes this life possible. We wish you all as much joy, love, and peace this Christmas season as we are experiencing through the eyes of our children.