Don’t let stress overwhelm you to the point where you can’t enjoy the holidays! So what if everything’s not perfect… Let go, relax and take it easy!
Relax And Let Go Of Christmas Stress
You know the old song “Christmas Eve will find me… where the love light gleams- I’ll be home for Christmas…”? Well, Christmas Eve will find me lounging on the couch by the fire, watching snow flakes falling gently outside my window while sipping my old fashioned cocoa (made with real milk heated on the stove) and munching gingerbread men I baked myself.
As I sit here, my glance turns to the lovely tree piled high with gifts and my joyful heart swells at how blessed I am. What a perfect Christmas setting surrounds me.
Now before you get the idea I’m some sort of paragon of a woman enjoying the perfect Christmas Eve, note that all is not as it seems on the surface. Let me explain. I’m on the couch only because that is where I collapsed in exhaustion. There isn’t a bone in my body that isn’t aching. When I close my eyes, instead of visions of sugar plums dancing in my head, I am having nightmare flash backs of the past couple of weeks.
Taking a sip of my cocoa, I cringe trying not to notice the burnt taste it acquired when it boiled over, making a sticky, gooey mess on the stove. Alas, it is only one in a long line of the usual Christmas events that I unsuccessfully try to pretend didn’t happen.
Then there’s the newly fallen snow — it always looks so pretty on those snow scene Christmas cards, but after spending 30 minutes digging the car out so I could hurry into town to buy gifts and arrive back home to a freezing house, I feel like using all my snow scene Christmas cards to light the fireplace.
Last, but especially not least there’s the tree! Whoever started the wives tale that decorating a tree is a heart warming and joyous occasion could not possibly have ever decorated one. The madness begins when you decide to cut down your own tree.
After hiking a mile through knee deep snow you find the perfect tree only to realize that you left the axe in the car. By the time you hike back to the car and then to the tree again the kids are tired and begging to go home. You have now sung every Christmas carol ever written and you are all eating snowballs trying to quench your thirst because your thermos of cocoa got dumped on the back seat of the car when the kids were fighting over it.
Freezing and frustrated, you hike back only to discover that your 4 wheel drive is snowed under and the tow truck bill alone could have bought a tree for every room of your home!
Once home, you find that the beautiful majestic piece of greenery which looked so perfect standing in the meadow of snow doesn’t look quite the same after you have had to chop it 4 times in order to get it to fit into your house. You wedge it into the tree stand- forget trying to make it straight! You’re just excited that it stays in the stand without falling over. It’s amazing what you can do with baling wire and duct tape.
You string your own popcorn (another story in itself), singing more carols and hang gingerbread men only to find later that the tree is laying prostrate on the floor, stripped naked, having fallen to the mercy of the dog who grins at you, revealing his mouth full of severed gingerbread men limbs and a string from the popcorn garland.
Now you know why my heart swells with pride looking at my tree– because in our home it takes more work to put up a Christmas tree than it did to build the Empire State Building!
To say that I can relate to National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is an understatement and in some way or another, I think most of us can. In spite of that, each and every year, we once again try to find the perfect gift, the perfect tree and make the perfect dinner thinking this year we just might get it perfect.
It’s called hope – hoping that this year we will succeed, faith – faith that we will obtain it if we just keep trying and love – loving every minute of doing it. Like little children who forge on working hard in the bitter cold building a snowman, not noticing or caring that their toes and fingers are growing numb, we too love creating the perfect Christmas (or snowman) for our family to admire.
In the same way that we see only our child’s hard work and effort in his imperfect snowman, so our families will see and remember only mom’s hard work and sacrifice.
Just relax. So what if the cocoa tastes a little burnt and the tree is a little crooked. This too shall pass — and then you get to look forward to doing it all over again next year!!! :) :) :)
We wish you a Merry Christmas, we wish you a Merry Christmas, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! :)
I just watched National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation last night and I LOVE it. I can definitely relate to it. Thanks Jill for helping us to keep it real. :-) Merry Christmas everyone!
Yeah, Mike and I love that show! He’s a video producer and I think he needs to make “clean” version of it so that the entire family can appreciate it! :-)
Oh how I remember those Christmas too and when I do am so glad now that the kids are grown and its a store bought 2 ft. tree that I put up year after year.
This was great! I wish I could say that it doesn’t sound like home, but unfortunately, I have lived it, too. :)
I struggle to make it all perfect, and that takes the fun out of it all. I have had to learn to let it go if its not perfect. keep the focus on Jesus!
Merry Christmas and thanks for making me laugh.
Jill, you are a funny, funny girl!
You made me laugh so hard – it made me forget that I wanted to cry just a few minutes earlier. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours!
Loved your post! It’s like Jesus said, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” So it is with Christmas, “Christmas was made for man, not man for….”
Have a blessed Christmas.
I Love this Newsletter. Gave me several chuckles just reading it. I could just picture it all. Glad you were able to sit and relax on the couch awhile tho. Merry Christmas and keep up the wonderful Newsletters.
I am still wiping off my tears from laughing so hard. You lightened my load today. May you and your family have a wonderful Christ-filled Christmas!
Jill, You are a riot. This is an imperfect world and the sooner we come to peace with that truth the better. This isn’t Heaven, even though we try hard to get it as close to it as possible. We need to relax a little.
Like you, I will fall over exhausted once the holidays are over. My goal is to have either a nice hot cup of coffee or a nice mimosa in my hand as I sit with my feet up in my recliner on New Years Day, saying to myself “Job well done. You made it thru another one! Atta girl!” LOL 2 Christmas parties to make food & bake goodies for & decorate the house inside & out, baking gifts for friends & neighbors and family, keeping the house chores up so it’s ready for anything anytime. I don’t think my feet/ankles have stopped swelling since before Thanksgiving. But in the end, it’s all worth it. I say thank you to God on a daily, sometimes hourly basis. I am blessed with the knowledge & abilities to do all this stuff, have family/friends to enjoy it all with, have the support of hubby & son, a good job to help pay for it all, and most importantly the love of God to give me the comfort & strength I need to do it all with sanity in tact. Merry Christmas to you and a very safe and prosperous new year to you as well.
Heather I have to agree with you totally. You said it so well. Not only is Christmas a time to celebrate Christ’s birth but also all God has blessed us with. Like you, I sometimes thank Him on an hourly basis that He has allowed me to be able to live in a country even where I can walk in to a store and buy such lovely gifts or food for my family. Well I want to say more because your post meant a lot to me but I would just end up repeating all you said and you have said it so well already. (Did that make sense??) Thank you again.
Stop trying for perfect, shoot for pleasant. Buy a tree and save the tow bill. NO eating or drinking in the car for heavens sake!! If they fight, pull over and sit there until they stop. Don’t ever use edible on tree with pets or keep pets in another room when not supervised. Christmas is too commercial. Only do activities that are actually fun for time to spend together. ENJOY the season. Last, I tell myself shoveling is good exercise and for my weight.
tomorrow my Christmas will be done.
Right now the living room floor is covered with presents to be packed into the pillow cases we stamped pictures of each person in the family so I don’t have to wrap the bigger gifts.
Stockings and Christmas hats are full of the little things.
The egg rolls, pizza rolls, and meat pasties are all frozen so they will travel and I just have to make a french bread pizza that my grandson says I make the best of any he has ever eaten. How could I not include one of those.
Bags of candies are ready to go as well and I only ate 3 of them Don had 4. They are all going so we don’t eat more.
Then tomorrow when I go to the dentist the parcels go to the bus and will be picked up by my son on Thursday.
Then I will sit drinking wine or drambui feeling sorry for myself until Christmas day when the web cam will come out and we will get to see the family and talk to them.
Christmas is not a happy time for me when there are no family and friends dropping in.
Merry Christmas to everyone here.
grandma – I don’t know if this was from this year or an earlier one. Hope you have a wonderful Christmas. We have a small family near us – our son and my mother. Our older son is deployed so won’t see him, but he will try to call tonight. I used to wish for a large family gathering like we used to have when visiting family out-of-state, but things change and we must adjust. I have finally adjusted my attitude and am thankful not to have the stress of packing, traveling, cooking (more than just for the four of us)and I feel much more relaxed. P.S. Hope you didn’t mean you were drinking for days at a time :) as your paragraph about the wine or drambui made it sound!
sorry meant to say amaretto liquor. very nice tasting drink to sit and sip while reading or chatting.
You are so funny! I laughed and laughed at that article! Have a Merry Christmas. may God continue to bless you and your family
I LOVE the picture you painted of the dog with gingerbread all over his face and the tree on the floor. PRICELESS.
Fake trees are SO MUCH easier and take only about 2 hrs to reach perfection.
Jill and family
Here’s a poem that will sum it all up
I have shopped all year for “finds” and treasuers
because doing for others is my pleasure
When its time to wrap my “finds”
I can’t find my glasses and then I am blind try
putting the names on the gifts you can’t see and when they get mixed up at unwrapping time you’ll see that not being perfect can be a laugh and it makes Christmas day such a blast
Not to mention the tree that the cat has climbed and decided to play with it like twine
So by the end of the day everyone has had fun and laughs and said we are doing this at your house again cause grandma makes Christmas last!
Susan- What a wonderful poem! It points out the true meaning of Christmas–relationships! Our relationship with Christ and our relationship with each other. This year, for the first time, I decided to keep those 2 things as my priorities during this Christmas season and it has been the best Christmas of all! D0 we want our children to remember “things” or do we want them to remember the laughter, conversation and closeness of family and friends? As parents and as a friend to others, we can set the tone and be a part of keeping the focus on the love of Christ at Christmas time, Merry Christmas everyone!
I too love the movie Christmas Vacation, and like the movie, I’m sure we all have those crazy moments during the season where we think “I”m NOT doing this again next year” and we always do. It’s so easy to get caught up in the craziness of it all. Our Christmas tree was a little too big this year (nod to the movie here) and my husband had to cut it down three times to get it into our tiny house. We let our 14 year old son decorate it all by himself while we watched with his grandmother who was visiting from Colorado. Needless to say my husband said when it was all done that it looked like “Christmas vomit” had hit the tree, there was so much red and green. and of course most of the orniments were on one side of the tree. My dear husband strung the lights on the outside of our house not once but twice this year because the first time he did it backwards and there was no where to plug the lights in. Of course in the middle of the string of lights, right in front of our picture window where the over sized tree is, the lights remained dark. he took lights out and put them back in. Checked and rechecked. But, they still reamain unlit and are still in front of the window. I’ve managed to burn all the cookies that are to go into the goodie baskets we’ve made for my husbands co workers. I can bet that they will remember this when it’s time to have a pot luck at work and they only ask him to bring the paper plates. But THIS is what I love about Christmas.. And I wouldn’t change a thing. The crazy lights, the burnt cookies, the “Christmas Vomit” on the tree that was way too big for our house. When our kids are older and our son is off to college and out of the house, it’s these memories that I will hold so close to my heart and smile about. Merry Christmas everybody!!
Margarquet, I loved the way your husband described the tree as “Christmas vomit.” Your post gave me the laugh I needed today! Thank you for sharing :-)
Jill–I’ve had Lyme Disease and a year ago Thanksgiving had a recurrence which is just now getting under control. [I didn’t recognize the symptoms as Lyme–I thought it was my adrenals.] Anyway, I have to ask if you have been checked for Lyme Disease…It is a very sneaky disease that masquerades as so many other diseases. You might find some info at biotoxins.com or chronicneurotoxins.com.
Feel free to contact me if you have more questions. It took 18 years for me to get the first diagnosis. Agressive treatment with antibiotics will do a lot if that is indeed your family’s problem.
With Christian love, Anne Schreyer
Thank you Anne for the info but yes we have been checked for that. A couple of years after we first became sick the Centers for Disease Control did a huge study here in Wichita and 4 other cities with people who had been diagnosed with CFS. Of 500 who were told by their doctors they had it only 80 people truly did and they were the ones chosen to be studied. Tawra and I were part of the 80 and were a couple of the worst cases plus they especially “liked” us because there were very few at that time who had more then one member of their family ill with it and we had 3 members.
Anyway we were on the study for many years and were tested for everything known to man almost. We gave blood and more blood and were tested and retested. We even had to summit to psychiatric testing which all turned out really good other wise they wouldn’t have taken us on to study. To this day if someone jokingly tells Tawra she is crazy she says no she isn’t and she has papers to prove it. :) :)
God was really looking out for us because first I didn’t have medical to pay for and to have the many many tests they ran so that really helped for them to do all of them. Plus I know so many people are told over and over they have CFS only to find out years later they don’t and could have had treatments if they had known just as in your case.
That is why I say over and over get more then one opinion because usually less the 1/4 of the people who are told they have it or think they have it really don’t. Tawra, my son and me were all blessed to at least know from the beginning we had it and it help us to deal with so many things.
I was diagnosed 12 years ago with CFS & Fibro, but had all the symptoms years before that, before much was known about it. My question is to you all, does your CFS symptoms get worse at other times, then maybe you feel a little relief from the fatigue at other times? I too was diagnosed very low on B12 vitamin and am now on the shots.
We do have better days then others. I do better now then I did 20 years ago. Then I was pretty much bed ridden. Part of the reason I do better now is only because I have learned to control my CFS. I now know what makes me sick and try to avoid those things as much as possible. If I can’t avoid them then I try to plan on being sick the next day and adjust my day around that. For example get togethers wear me out like crazy so I know if I go to church on Sunday I will be shot for the rest of the day. The day after Christmas Tawra and I will both be dead so we know we can’t plan to go any where that day, try to have easy meals or don’t plan on anything major.
I have really learned to say no. My extended family does not understand my illness at all and that has been the hardest part. I would travel 10 hours to see them quite often and after I got sick they expected me to still come out there. I have learned to say no even if it upsets them. When I had some major surgery the day I got home from the hospital my parents wanted me to talk to every relative under the sun on the phone but since talking on the phone can really wear me out I had to refuse even though it made them upset.
I have learned not to get too excited. For example I about froze in my home for many years and found out I could get insulation for almost free and was so happy and excited about it I was sick and in bed for 2 days after that so I try to keep my emotions, even the good ones on a more even level which of course isn’t easy but gets better with practice.
You learn to control every thing you do. For example I was going to change my sheets today but will have to wait until after Christmas Eve so I don’t chance making myself sick. Little things like that make a difference.
We have done the vitamin B shots but they didn’t seem to help. The only thing which has helped me at all is all of the things I mentioned above and I take mega amounts of Lysine. A pharmacist told me about it many years ago and it helps ever so slightly. Between the two of us we have tried every herb cure or meds and nothing has done anything too dramatic and especially hasn’t cured us. I think sometimes people who swear they took something and was cured maybe didn’t have it in the first place because there really isn’t a practical cure yet. They are pretty sure it is a virus and that is why the Lysine probably helps.
HA HA HA HA HA! Good one, Jill! :D :D :D
Merry Christmas to you too!
(a transplanted Kansas prairie flower)
After reading your tale of woe and seeing it in my “minds eye”, (it was hilarious) I do wish you a very Merry Christmas. Thanks for keeping all
of us entertained all year!
Take care, we’d have a hard time without you,
Absolutely the funniest and most honest account of the Christmas that I have read since Erma Bombeck’s articles about it. Can’t hang tinsel, the cats eat it, forget the cookies, the kids eat them or part of them, and the crash in the middle of the nigth as you find it prostate on the floor and the cat startled but still relentless in it’s pursuit of the feathered ornament near the top of the tree; vintage ornaments are replaced by plastic baubles so the kids can’t break them, and the search for a burned out light when the entire string goes dark.
Cocoa – burned my tongue, snow – hard packed and none falling due to the extreme cold, No fireplace but my splurge on a Christmas candle glows with a lovely flame; no LED for this one.
Yet, it is all worth it as the children find the baby Jesus in the manger and their stockings full.
I can identify with the Christmas tree prostrate on the floor! When I was growing up we had a cat who decided to sleep on one of the middle branches of the Christmas tree. After knocking the tree over about 3 times in about a day or two, my parents finally tied a string between the top of the tree and the curtain rod to hold the tree up while the cat slept in it. They did this for many years and the cat always slept on the broken branch right in the middle of the tree. Now I hang all of my bell ornaments on the bottom row of the tree so I can tell when the kids or the dog is messing with it. When I hear a “tina-a-ling” I can just yell “get away from the tree” and don’t even have to look. Have a very Merry Christmas!!
That is too funny Amy. I love the bell ornament trick. I had to laugh it remember when my first grrandbaby was a toddler and I would baby sit him. Even though I tried to keep a close eye on him he was so fast I was afraid he would escape on me so I tied some jiggle bells around his ankle and that way I knew if he was close by.
I love the way you do it by just yelling “get away from the tree”. I love to keep my kids guess and little kids would wonder “how does she know what I’m doing ???” too funny.
just want to wish jill tawra mike and family merry Christmas.
keep up the site it is wonderful for people.
good bye but have a good life everyone who visits here.
I loved your comment about burning the snow scene Christmas cards just to keep warm. It really made me laugh. Thanks.
I received this in an e-mail today and just wanted to share these beautiful thoughts:
I Corinthians 13, A Christmas Version
If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls, but do not show love to my family, I’m just another decorator.
If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime, but do not show love to my family, I’m just another cook.
If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home and give all that I have to charity, but do not show love to my family, it profits me nothing.
If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday parties and sing in the choir’s cantata but do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.
Love stops the cooking to hug the child. Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the husband or wife. Love is kind, though harried and tired. Love doesn’t envy another’s home that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens.
Love doesn’t yell at the kids to get out of the way, but is thankful they are there to be in the way. Love doesn’t give only to those who are able to give in return but rejoices in giving to those who can’t.
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, golf clubs will rust, but giving the gift of love will endure.
I loved Angie M.’s note. So true! Sometimes we try to be perfect and forget that it’s better to love our family.
Sometimes you make me laugh and sometimes you make me cry. I cry for joy at your Christian values, and cry for problems that we all have, knowing that the Lord is always watching over us.
I just love you as if you were personally known to me. God Bless you this Christmas season and always.
Angie M… EXACTLY!
I have friends whose childhood memories of Christmas were ruined by their mums’ stress about Christmas being ‘perfect’. Earier today we had a visit from a fella who had ‘escaped’ from his house, leaving his wife and mother to stress about ‘things that don’t matter’. Yes, it’s nice to have a lovely clean house, beautifully decorated, etc.etc, but we must remind ourselves why we try to do all this – to make it special for our families. If we are awful company in the pursuit of this ‘perfection’, then what has been the point of it all?
I have been in bed ill for the last three days with a stomach bug. I had planned on making a killer stuffing, but I barely have the energy to peel the chestnuts. I was excited about plucking the first red cabbage I’ve ever grown from the garden and cooking it slowly with apple, red wine and spices. I can’t see this happening now but I refuse to get stressed about it. If I wake up tomorrow morning feeling well enough to read my daughter’s new books to her (her favourite pastime!), I shall consider myself truly blessed. Too many of us women forget to focus on what is truly important at Christmas, Jesus’ simple commandment: Love one another.
I wonder how Mary felt when she and Joseph could only find a stable to sleep in? When she laid her newborn baby – the Son of God – into the trough that the animals fed from?
Your Christmas story did my heart good!
Thanks for a wonderfully funny and heartwarming tale. I got so frustrated on Christmas Eve (cleaning the house, putting out food) that I cried. I think they were “I’m so sorry for me” tears. I realized how stupid that was. Finished my work, got dressed, and waited for kids and grandkids to come in. We had a terrific evening. My husband read scripture and reminded us all that Jesus came in order to establish a relationship with us. What a thought!
Puts life in perspective!
Merry Christmas Jill and family. And may your New year be wonderful
Thanks for the laugh! It also brought to mind the movie Christmas with the Kranks. Keeping things simple sounds wonderful!
Just wanted to say I love your optimistic attitude, even when things go differently then you planned.
May God bless you and your family this Christmas season & in the new year!
grizzly bear mom
Dear ladies, you have my permission to do as little at Christmas as you are resonably abled to do. The kids won’t die if they have pizza for Christmas, or if you purchase your gifts on sale and celebrate epifany. They may even like it better!
Our cats and babies loved the christmas tree so much that we we protected it by putting it in a play pen.
Thanks for the wonderful laughs. This is going to be my first Christmas without my mom whose lived with my wife and me for the last 17 years. (She went home on October 25th, right after her 82nd birthday.) I’ve been feeling a little down about Christmas, but you reminded me that there’s joy even in the trials. Your story about the dog “eating” your Christmas tree reminded me of something our little Boston Terrier George once did. My wife had prepared herself a bagel with strawberry cream cheese for breakfast and had taken it into the living room and left it on the coffee table. She had to go back out to the kitchen, and when she returned she found her bagel on the floor licked clean, and George with strawberry cream cheese all over his face which he had arranged in his most innocent of all possible expressions. My wife had to laugh, and she ended up feeding the rest of the bagel to George. Thanks again for offering a little perspective. I appreciate it. Happy Christmas to you and yours! – t
thanks for the honesty ;0 We will make memories, maybe not pic perfect, but who wants perfection:)))
Love this poem every year you send it out. I am trying to remember it is the making of happy memories that counts, not trying to give the family a perfect Christmas. Christmas Eve will find me celebrating with my family watching Christmas movies and waiting for Santa.
Jill, Tawra and Family….
Have a very Merry Christmas and the happiest of New Year’s.
The Baker Family
I just love this article! It lets me know I’m not alone in the contrast between my dream Christmas and what really happens. Maybe if we better remembered the reality version we wouldn’t get so depressed when it’s all over. Thanks and Merry Christmas to you and your family.
Dear Jill, Tawra and Family, Thank you so much for creating this wonderful site. I so look forward to checking my e-mails and seeing the latest edition. You have helped me greatly this year, putting things into perspective. This Christmas will be very different as my mom also unexpectedly passed in August, my daughter moved out with her 2 children (age 4 and 2) into her own place and my best friend died after a 10 month battle with lung cancer. It was very lonely in the beginning but I’m starting to enjoy the solitude. I never had a tree in the livingroom as the kids always took the ornaments off or broke them. This year the tree is in the livingroom and each night after a hectic day, I sit with the lights off or low, a cup of tea and a blanket in my pjs and just enjoy the quiet and think of my mom and best friend. It will be a different kind of Christmas, more thoughtful and appreciative. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Thanks for the laughing in recognition !! I had to have the cocoa with water as we had run out of milk and I have developed an allergic reaction to having the tree up in the house so we have to move it outside after we change the ornaments because we want the unbreakable ones outdoors, Thanks and a merry Christmas to you too…
grizzly bear mom
dear Tony and Alisa especially,
I am so sorry for your lossess. Here are some Christmas hugs and kisses for you: XXXXX OOOOO.
Just a little tip about stringing popcorn. Make sure to let it sit a day and “get stale” first! It strings very easily then without crumbling. Also, you can keep your stringed popcorn for many years; just wrap it in tissue paper and place in a mouse proof container and you can enjoy for many years to come!
OKAY, SO BAH HUMBUG!!!! CHRISTMAS IS ALL IN HOW YOU VIEW IT. IT IS A BEAUTIFUL TIME, IF YOU LET IT BE. ENJOY IT AND DON’T BE PULLED INTO THE WORLD’S WAY OF THINKING ABOUT IT. WHAT A JOY CHRISTMAS, AND ALL THE MEMORIES ARE!
MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!! YOU ONLY GO AROUND THIS LIFE ONCE SO GRAB ALL THE HAPPINESS OF CHRISTMAS THAT YOU CAN.
LOVE AND PEACE! THE BIGGEST BIRTHDAY BASH EVER, AND ALL BECAUSE OF JESUS!!! YAHOO!!!!
Thanks for the “back story.” Reality check here, too. Still have one knitted gift and at least 2 fleece scarves to finish by Friday night and another as a Hannukah gift that will just have to wait. More cookies to bake–with bought cookie dough. Only three gifts are wrapped–2 done at Mom’s during Thanksgiving and a third done for free at the store. All of this while DH wants to get his bike fixed, the computer linked with the new router (how many hours on the phone with India?), etc. Forget about cards–yet another year of not sending any. Still, I love this time of year!
I am SO glad I clicked on this post. I admit I didn’t “get it” at first. As I read I wondered what you were getting at but it all came together at the end when you said “Just relax.” And reading everyone else’s comments made me feel so much better…I am 38 weeks pregnant with my 3rd (talk about exhausted!) and I have no desire to put up a tree, send cards, decorate or entertain. My 3 yr old made a tree at church out of a styrafoam block, a wooden kabob skewer, and cut-outs of his hands. Going to place that on the middle of my dining room table and stack the gifts around it. I don’t think I am even going to pull out the stockings. My daughter is only 15 months old and would probably be the one (like the dog in your story ) who pulls the tree down and tries to eat various parts of it. My husband is pretty cranky about it but I think I am going to show him this post and remind him there is more to Christmas than what he sees it for.
PS — Pray for a New Year’s baby!!!
grizzly bear mom
Kristi, not only would using his tree be less work for you, it would be honoring to your son.
We try too hard to be perfectly perfect. Most of the time good enough will suffice.
welcome to my world!!!
merry christmas and god bless you all,
That is what memory’s are made of:
Remember forgetting the ax after trekking to the perfect tree?
Starving cause the cocoa got spilled -them mom wrecked it when we got home?
The dog took down the trees so he could eat the decorations?
Gosh that was fun!
It may take them til they are 30 to see the humor of it, but it will eventually be fondly remembered.
Snow? What is that? It is going to be 80 here today.
Hope that you have a wonderful Christmas. Thanks for the wonderful newsletter and the many books. I enjoy them all.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of you.
Your son’s car decoration is wonderful. What spirit.
I laughed and laughed at this story. I was thinking that my perfect Christmas was not happening this year,either. I either get the gifts purchased and mailed on time or the house decorated and the gifts delayed. This year, the gifts are mailed but the tree has only lights on it because my husband did them yesterday. He brought up one of the box of ornaments (the tree is much smaller than usual) and I had planned to start putting them on last night but after a day with 18 people in the office for a meeting and everyone needing something before they headed home, I was exhausted. I made dinner and promptly fell asleep in the recliner until 11:30. Was supposed to make a batch of fudge for the office but decided to do it after Christmas instead. Still have to wrap gifts for hubby and son so we can have a few days to look at them under the tree but they may not get done before Saturday.
I can really appreciate not having done everything, perfectly. As I get older, I find that less is more. I am happy with only having the lights on the tree but my husband wants a little more. So hope to enlist his help tonight in adding the decorations and we can enjoy the tree after Christmas, too, since we got it late.
Have a wonderful, joyous Christmas everyone. I look forward to 2013 and keeping up with all of you for another year.
Love your site, I actually like slight imperfections so Christmas never has been to perfect in our house and even gets less so that the children are gone. Am now in the process to teach the little ones that this is OK.
Love to you and your family for christmas and the coming Year, Gertrud
Loved your imperfect Christmas story! It was so funny I had my 11-year-old son read it and he laughed,too. The older I get, the more imperfect Christmas gets. Ha! I actually offered to my husband to invite his brothers over for a little Christmas together (what was wrong with me!?!). I stopped baking those cookies and making candy years ago when I aquired more than one job. Sometimes it’s okay to just buy what you need, if you have to take food somewhere. Here’s to another imperfect Christmas and a wonderful New Year!
Oh my gosh;I LOL and am sharing with my daughter. Too funny..Thank you
EXCEPT if you are frugal like we all are! As frugal people know we plan early and scoop up the deals all year long so we are not shopping last minute! I too will be home Christmas Eve curled up on my couch!
At work this week I have had FOOD OVER LOAD! EVERYBODY is giving gifts of food in the form of baked treats! While I appreciate the thought I don’t usually eat baked goods all year long and then to receive every type of Christmas goodie out there from fudge to cake pops is a bit much! All that sugar and frosting is just plain GROSS! I am rethinking my own food gifts for next year and instead of just being cheap by microwaving canned milk sugar and baking chips together for fudge I am going to be looking a healthful gifts. I know it’s the thought that counts but I am going to start a knew tradition by getting healthier! Next year instead of the peppermint bark I will make home made pesto sauce with spaghetti and bread sticks, or home made seasoning herbs or even get a small rose mary tree something more healthful! YIKES I am up to my eyeballs in candy, cake, gingerbread’s, zucchini bread, fudge, homemade gifts in a jar etc! Enough to put me into a diabetic coma!! I have decided to re gift most of the stuff I received simply because it too much!!
I agree abaout the overload of baked goods and candy. You might want to consider soup mixes. With low sodium broth powder and dried vegetables they can be quite healthy.
THANK YOU for being honest and so open about the realities of life. I think a lot of times we forget that everyone that looks like they’ve got it together has stresses, too. Just being reminded of that encourages us all!
I admit I am one of those people who gives fudge and cookies and treats to my friends for Christmas. I have a lot of friends who NEVER bake for themselves or their families so they are delighted to get the gifts I give. LAC, I will consider your comment and ask before I give the sweets next year. There could be someone who takes the gift but would rather have something other than sugar. Very good point you made. One year, I made bean soup mixes in a jar and they were very well received and I heard comments back about what a great dinner it made so perhaps I will rethink my gifts, too, for 2013. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all.
Hi Maggie: I think the soup mix and a sweet treat are a great gift especially for older folks who don’t really cook well for themselves. I find zip lock bags are the greatest invention since sliced bread. if we have too many treats they go into the freezer and we enjoy them a few months after the holiday.
Happy New Year to all!!
For anyone feeling a little blue about being alone or away from family for Christmas, consider having someone else who is also alone (a person from church, work or the community) over on Christmas Day or close to it. It can be for a meal or just a good visit with coffee and goodies. We have done this on occasion, and it is especially good if you invite someone you don’t really know very well, but can reasonably trust. You will make a new friend and create good memories for yourself and them. A funny but true holiday story to help us keep our sense of humour over the holidays, as told by the now grown child who submitted it to a magazine a few years back….One year, when the author was small, the Mother of the house was recovering from a recent surgery, and was unable to do up the finishing touches for Christmas. The Dad was loving and devoted to his large family, but had only a grade three education. Undaunted, he took on the task of finishing wrapping and labelling the Christmas gifts. The author said, “How could we ever forget the year when all of our presents under the tree were from ‘Satan’?” Merry Christmas.
Reading this story again made me laugh out loud…again! It’s as good reading this each year as watching Christmas Vacation! So funny! My husband informed me YESTERDAY that he wasn’t going to get “one box of ornaments down” from the attic until all my boxes of “work” were removed from the livingroom. Guess what he brought down TODAY…6 boxes of decorations/ornaments from the attic. Do I have all my “work” stuff out of the livingroom? Nope! :)
As a side note, I would suggest that your readers look on to see if they have anything that someone may need for Christmas. When posting something yesterday, I noticed that a woman was wanting shirts for her disabled husband and toys and clothes for her kids for Christmas. She’s going to wrap them up for the kids for Christmas. I’m so glad I found someone who I can give excess toys and my son’s too small clothes to who really needs it to make a better Christmas for her children. Several have posted that they need trees and ornaments or other decorations for either foster kids that have come, or grandchildren who they have recently obtained custody of. So many have it much worse that most of us.
Thanks for your stories of encouragement and humor!
I missed this story this year! It cheers me up every year.
Yup. Cheered me up this year too! Not much of a Christmas this year as both my kids are sick with Covid so we’re all isolating. They’re ill and want only things like chicken soup and corn flakes so not holding out much hope for Christmas dinner either!
But we’re here, we’re together in a warm house without real worries. The quotations from this post for “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” always makes me feel wistful, as I don’t think many people appreciate now that the song came out in 1943, and was written from the point of a view of a soldier overseas. “I’ll be home for Christmas, if only in my dreams.” Yes, Covid stinks but we as Americans have faced much harder challenges and been fine.
Merry Christmas to Tawra and Jill! Both of you have helped me so much over the years, you don’t even know.
Oh thank you Harriet. So so sorry to hear you all are sick. We have had some Christmases like that too. Just hope they get better soon. You have been one of our very long time friends. You are our backbone and we love you guys so much. Soon we will be starting another year together – my how time flies. Hope you all can have a little bit of a Merry Christmas in spite of everything. Lots of hugs, Jill