Good morning everyone. Well, Monday is here once again. The weekends go so quickly, don't they? Well. yesterday I performed Christmas stories at the Plano library for their Christmas tea. It was a lovely event. The tables were each set with a separate type of Christmas dishes. They served 3 courses and I told stories at the end of each course. They were very well received. It was so wonderful to see such changes of expression on the audience. There was engagement, laughter, tears, smiles. It doesn't get any better than that. Due to where I was, I was able to meet up with my friend who I really feel is my daughter and we enjoyed a 2 1/2 hour lunch together. What a wonderful day I had...and then I had to drive home in the storm. The storm that headed east was a mess. What would have normally taken me an hour to drive...took 2 1/4 hours. My eyes hurt from staring out the window, as did my hands from keeping a grip on the steering wheel. But, by the grace of God...I got home safe and sound.
Well, I thought about what today's blog should be about and decided on the stress of the holidays. As I sat at the table with a family at the tea, the mother at the table had a list a mile long of things she needed to do when she returned home. I listened as she carefully counted out what needed to be done at home. She did this numerous times. She had 6 loads of laundry to do, put up the tree, make dinner, bake cookies and get some repair done to her car...all before today. I watched as her daughter's face changed each time she spoke of the chores that needed to get done. I didn't say a word, but felt bad for her...not that she had so much to do, but that she was in such a state of worrying about all that she had to do that she couldn't really enjoy fully the time she was spending with her daughter and her mother at this tea. The look on her daughter's face told it all. She was frustrated, perhaps sad with what was yet to come.
I totally understood this all too well. There was one Christmas that put a stop to my craziness. Yes, craziness....who ever said we mothers that work needed to be these super humans? Here we are...just trying to create memories and wonderful moments and all the while we are creating a lot of frustrations. I remember my waking call years ago. I had a gift store and was running full speed. It was the holidays, I had all the shopping done, the next day was Christmas Eve and then Christmas Day in which I was to prepare these huge meals, clean house and get everything prepared and gifts wrapped. I had come home from a full day of work, had all the gifts boxed and piled in separate piles and asked my teenage daughters to help with the wrapping that night. Each would have to wrap a stack. I was extremely exhausted, and as we sat in the living room, I told them I wanted to cat nap for 10 minutes and then we could begin. We also had to get tables set, etc. I told them to wake me in 10 minutes. As I closed my eyes to slumber, I heard one daughter say to the other..."Man, she is going to be such a #itch tomorrow! Well, there it was...my wakeup call...in more ways than one. THAT was not the memory I was trying to create. You see, I thought that everything that needed to be done or prepared had to be MY way...the PERFECT way. Food all made by ME. I opened my eyes and told them to go to bed. I would take care of everything. They looked at me in complete astonishment! I had a new plan. I told them that in the morning, if they wouldn't mind, there would be one or two things to help me with and left it at that. For the first time ever..I went to bed. When the morning came, I got into the car and drove from store to bakery, picking up all the cookies that I did not have to bake, the foods that I could just place in a bowl and not have to prepare from scratch. I also purchased a bag of bows. When I arrived home, I made a call to the fish house and ordered all the fish for that night's dinner. I slapped a bow and wrote a name on the gifts and placed them under the tree. I put on Christmas music and the girls helped me set the table and done! I was not going to have my girls have a Christmas memory of a mom who was crazed! It was wonderful. It was from that time on that I discovered that I am not SUPER woman! I try now to do the things I enjoy to do and the rest is just what it is.
Now that the children are in another state, one Christmas they came here. They spent Christmas Eve at the other family house and were to arrive on Christmas Day at our home at 11AM. At 9 the doorbell rang and there they were. I was washing the kitchen floor. I asked them to just give me a couple minutes to finish. From that point...what the heck...I asked the granddaughters if they wanted to make some Christmas cookies. So there we were, making cookies on Christmas day, laughing, making a mess, eating cookie dough and loving every minute of it. The music was playing and the adults were snacking. No pressure, just lots of love and laughter.
So my advice to all the moms who are out there...those who need to work and even those who don't...remember...it is the memories that linger on....it is the smile on those children's faces that is the picture you want to remember. It isn't how the lists get done, or how perfect it all looks. Give yourself a break and enjoy the moments. We all want the holidays to be moments of happiness not dread.