It’s Christmas day night. I’ve had zero time for blogging because of Christmas. By the end of this blessed holiday, I completely hate Christmas. I’ll feel better tomorrow but tonight I’m totally sick of the holidays.

In my head, Christmas looks like this:

There is a roaring fire in the fireplace. The children are dressed in their adorable Christmas pajamas and everyone is smiling and laughing. They are playing together and I’m sitting on the couch drinking a latte. The fabric wrapping paper that I recycle every year is already put away and so are the lovely bows. The cats are sleeping on the hearth and Rugby has gone to live on a farm. Later we will go visit with family where there will also be a roaring fire and my children will be perfect angels. Everything is very shiny and happy because this is a FANTASY.

The real Christmas:

We love so many people and they love us but by the end of day 14 of Christmas celebrations and parties, we are all getting tired. Christmas Eve is spent chasing a two year old around while he tries to destroy a relative’s house. I will not be able to convince him to eat anything except pumpkin roll and the running and shrieking will get more intense. The baby will get overwhelmed by the amount of people and will spend her entire evening trying to find things to choke on. We try to squeeze in eating, presents, and a few special moments before we have to go dashing home because Santa Claus has recruited the parents of the world to put about a thousand things together.

We stay up way too late putting together construction sets and blocks. We will give up on putting together the kitchen because it requires hammering and its already 12:30. We arrange the presents and then we find some more presents that need to be wrapped. We wrap them. We add those presents and then we rearrange some furniture. Then we try to get Buzz and Woody to stand together as though posing, but it’s hard. Buzz keeps falling over. Crap.

We finally go to sleep. We get up about five times because we are doing our nightly up and down routine. We get up and open presents. YES there is lots of joy and wonder. There is also a lot of pee. And poop.

My parents show up and I finally get to sit down. And drink coffee. It’s pretty awesome. My husband cooks, a few friends drop by, and it’s great. It’s not entirely my vision but it’s great.

So that’s not so bad right? It is beautiful and wonderful but my vision of Christmas usually involves lots of sitting around listening to records on the turntable. Bing Crosby might even stop by to sing to us and then someone will tramp out in the snow to get some more wood for the roaring fire. Everything is, of course, covered with greenery and bows. Someone is always baking. It’s really a beautiful time in my head. Christmas in my head does not involve any rushing. There are no plastic toys. There are no broken ornaments. No children are fighting. No adults are fighting either. It’s all very relaxed. We sit around in fair isle sweaters and comfy slippers while we read Christmas books.

Let’s check back in with reality. The fireplace is non-functioning and the children keep ruining/trying to kill themselves on the lantern display in the fireplace. Our fire is replaced by a space heater. How romantic! Instead of Bing Crosby wandering through, our friendly neighborhood skunk wanders by the front door and we find a mouse in the cat food bag. It’s still alive and now it is loose in the house. We are all allergic to real greenery so the only Christmas smells come from scented candles. And the mouse is still loose.

The lights are falling down outside. Half the shepherds and Mary fall over every time we walk by the nativity scene. There are toys coming out of my ears. There are piles of clothes everywhere. They are clean but why can’t clean clothes get put away? Getting them put away is just beyond me. And I’m exhausted. I feel like the Christmas marathon is over and all I have to show for it is an upset stomach because I ate literally all day yesterday.

My goal for next year is for my vision to match up with my reality just a little tiny bit. Less rushing, although we truly cut back a lot from last year, and more chilling. More Christmas books and fewer Christmas movies. Less screaming and more cuddling. More candles and less electricity. Someone should set the turntable up at least. If Bing can’t make it, since he is dead, perhaps Michael Buble could stop by!

Well, there’s always next Christmas. Someone tell Buble where we live. I hope he likes mice!

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