Here Comes Christmas

Dear Kids,

Christmas always sneaks up on me. No matter how much Christmas prep I think I’ve done before and right after Thanksgiving, it’s never enough. Come December, every day brings new tasks that must be done or else the whole holiday will be jeopardized. Or so it feels, anyway. And the time passes faster and faster the closer we get to December 25, as if the holiday is so massive that it pulls everything toward it, like a black hole.

With time flying by like that, the only thing I can do is hang on for the ride and focus on the priorities. I’m a slow mover and often grumpy and tired. I know I’m not going to get everything done, so I try to stay focused on the most critical things, like the Christmas tree. The decorated tree is what officially signals that Christmas is coming, and it’s only after the tree goes up that our elf, Charley, arrives. This is one Christmas task that we must always do, and the earlier the better.

This year your Daddy brought home a beautiful tree, and then you and I decorated it. You were both so eager to hang the ornaments that you weren’t as careful as I kept urging you to be, and a glass butterfly ornament got broken. I yelled, but only because you were both barefoot, and I didn’t want you near the broken glass. It was OK, though. Sometimes things break, and then we have to let them go. But you know what’s great? We always get a few new ornaments each year, so will never run out. We’re also collecting happy memories along the way, and that’s even more important.

We added something extra to the run-up to Christmas this year: an Advent calendar. Your Grammie had wanted to buy you one, and I said I liked the ones with the little drawers. Little did I know how much extra trouble I’d be creating for myself! The calendar is shaped like a gingerbread house, and it’s adorable, but the drawers are tiny. I went to the store and bought some very small presents (stickers, balloons, etc.) to go in it, but even those turned out to be too big. So I needed another solution, and I found two. It occurred to me that paper notes could be folded to fit in there. So, for some days I created treasure hunt clues to lead you to your presents. On other days I gave you “Magic Christmas Tickets” that were good for an extra treat, an extra book at bedtime, or a half hour of coding time on Mommy’s computer. The biggest hit was the extra treat ticket, but you really liked the treasure hunts, too.  I think I’ll be able to do a much better job of it next year. Your father wants to get in on the action, too, so expect to see some Magic Christmas Tickets that entitle you to spend extra time with Daddy!

Your father and I also got an extra pre-Christmas treat this year, because Marshall’s school put on a musical Christmas show. Marshall and his classmates sang some great holiday songs. We enjoyed the show, and we were so proud of him. We waited outside the gym afterward so we could each give him a big hug before he went back to class.

Your father says that I shouldn’t compare Christmas to a black hole, because it sounds too negative. I suppose he has a point. The thing is, Christmas can be tough sometimes. Many people get stressed and/or depressed around the holiday. But however hard the gravity of Christmas may pull you down, always remember that the bottom of the “black hole” is filled with presents, twinkly lights, cookies, carols, and good cheer. That will always be true as long as you Christmas live in your heart. I hope you always will.

Love,

Mom

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