Sunday, 29 December 2013

The Perfect Christmas Imperfection

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Sometimes when it comes to the holidays I have these visions and expectations of how I think (and want) things to happen. These visions of the perfect Christmas, where turkey is cooking in the oven as lovely conversations are happening, drinks in hand, with soft Christmas music playing in the background. Where children are playing quietly for long periods of time in front of the glow of the Christmas tree. Where we all nestle into bed at night and sleep straight through the night. And where Christmas eve and Christmas morning are both filled with nothing but laughter, joy and merriment.


But....

sometimes plans don't always go exactly as you had visioned.

With a newborn, 1yr old, 2yr old and 3yr old all in our family, it's pretty much necessary to throw out all of your standard expectations of the holidays and instead fully expect the unexpected.

Because when you cram all 10 of us into mom and dad's house for a week over the holidays, you get a little of everything.

You get giggling kids who sit in front of the glow of the Christmas tree and play to their hearts content. And the next moment you get kids who are fighting over toys, crying and melting down over the simplest of things.

You get nights where you wake up in the morning and realize that you actually slept through the night without any babies waking up needing extra snuggles at 3am. Then you also get nights where it feels like a circus of never-ending bedroom doors being opened and crying kids needing back rubs to help them settle again.


You get incredible meal times where everyone actually sits down together to eat at the dining room table--laughing, drinking and enjoying each others company. Then you get other meal times where kids refuse to eat, babies throw food on the floor and newborns need to be nursed.


You get warm fuzzy feelings as you carry on new or old Christmas traditions, and as you see your kids faces light up you realize that this is why you work so hard to make the holidays magical. Then you get other moments of misunderstandings and frustrations.


*Every Christmas eve the kids go check the mailbox for a wrapped package from Santa--a new book to read before bed.  
*Sprinkling reindeer food on the snow for Santa's reindeer
So what we had this year was a real Christmas. A wonderful Christmas. A perfectly real Christmas. But not perfect.

Sometimes I think we put so much pressure on ourselves to make the holidays into the perfect Hollywood screenplay that our reality just can't keep up. And everyone's realities are different.

For some people the holidays are a terribly lonely time, a sad time, a stressful time--a time that some people dread.

For our family, it's a time where magical moments sneak into the many moments of both laughter and joy and toddler tears and exhaustion. It's a time where little ones love baking cookies with their adorable Christmas aprons on...


and where we sing Christmas carols around the piano at night.



It's a time when we travel to celebrate Christmas again with our favourite silly cousins...

But also where the excitement of Christmas was sometimes all but too much for their little selves to take.



But when we throw out the idea of holiday perfection, we all of a sudden realize that our Christmas was everything that it should have been with the reality of all of the babies and toddlers in our family. It was magical and wonderful. It was crazy and chaotic. It was lovely and exciting. It was tear-filled and exhausting.

Perfect is a word that I'll save for the movies.


Our Christmas was real. Wonderful. Just as it should have been.


Happy New Year everyone!

Erica xo      




 

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