Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Christmas Visions

Having a baby around the holidays is a beautiful thing. This time of year filled with celebration and gathering is magical in and of itself, but when you add a fresh baby into that equation, it's almost more than the heart can bear! I've been so excited that this is the first year we will have Christmas in our very own home, with (just) our family of five. Naturally, with that excitement and anticipation, come daydreams and visions of what I hope this first milestone will look like for us. I can picture our children eagerly waiting at the top of the stairs and hurriedly making their way down on Christmas morning. I think of them going to bed together on Christmas Eve, practically shaking with excitement. I can see a beautiful spread on the table of a dinner that is beautiful, nourishing, and delicious- and followed the next morning by a breakfast of sweet velvet crumb cake, fresh berries and orange juice, and a hearty and savory vegetable and egg hash. I've already posed a cozy group shot of all of us cuddled together on Christmas Eve in our pajamas. I can see it all, and in my mind's eye, it all looks perfect.

As Christmas has drawn closer over the last week or so, a natural let-down has occurred. The handmade wreaths made with local greenery I was dreaming about have not been made. The pine-cone swag I was hoping to hang on the door hasn't been assembled. Christmas cards need sending, there are still presents that need to be purchased, made, wrapped, and delivered. And the three adorable children included in all of these fantasies have actual real-life needs that sometimes (most of the time) aren't in line with the time and energy it would take to create all of these scenes.

As silly as it sounds, this year I was really hoping I could have both. I wanted the warm fuzzy feelings of togetherness, as well as the perfect picture- the outward beauty emanating from the handmade decorations, the sparkling clean house, and the dazzling bowed-up packages and made-from-scratch food. But yesterday I had a thought who's truth resonated in my head. "It doesn't matter what it looks like. It matters what it feels like". I already blogged about the rough evening we had on Monday, and how we had to cancel having friends over for hot chocolate because the kids were so dang tired. In the middle of that evening, once we succumbed to not having friends over, we all sat on the couch and just sat. It was the first moment in the day that everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. No one was hurried or distracted, we were just together. The togetherness is really what we crave, I think. The togetherness is what our souls actually need. Of course the lights, and the decorations, and the homemade food don't hurt, but they're not the most important part.

I think I'd be wise this week before Christmas to create a new vision. The new vision would be one where the mom pauses, stops even, to laugh and play and share with her children. This vision would know that the mom doesn't, shouldn't and can't "do it all". It would inevitably include a house that isn't that clean, and food that's on the table whether or not its homemade. The new vision would focus more on looking into someone's eyes than looking at a pretty decoration. The new vision would look hard at the two precious children, and the one teeny tiny, perfect baby that she has, and realize that the  magic of the vision is in them, because they see magic around them regardless of what things look like.

Do you guys struggle with this too? I don't know why I'm such a slow learner in this regard. Can you relate to these feelings, or does embracing the messy come a little more easily to you?

Thanks for stopping by. xoxo

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