It’s that wonderful time of year, the “Christmas Crunch” as I call it at our house. No matter how much preplanning I do, it always comes down to a few days before Christmas and too much left to do. I saw a friend post on Facebook recently, “I’m at that stage of Christmas craziness that I could literally give up sleep until the 25th, and it wouldn’t all get done.” I feel ya, sistah!
Then like a rejuvenating splash of water to the face, I’ve been getting reminders that I need to keep it all in perspective. It started with looking back at last year’s entry in my Mommy Journal when both boys were sick — my youngest with a double ear infection. All of our holiday festivities came to a screeching halt. I also have a goddaughter who has a stomach bug right now and my heart goes out to her mama who is very pregnant and probably very tired. It’s so hard having sick kids at this time of year. So far we’ve stayed healthy, for the most part, and in all the frenzy I forgot to feel grateful for that. Perspective.
Another reminder came when I got news that two close friends have given birth to their babies weeks early. Now that will certainly change your perspective! I’m busy right now, but not “just-gave-birth-to-a-baby-way-before-I-was-planning-on-it” kind of busy. And I’m going to stop complaining about staying up late to finish homemade gifts because at least I’m not staying up all night rocking a newborn who won’t sleep. I was lucky enough to visit one of those friends and snuggle on her couch, cradling that sweet tiny baby in my arms. My friend shared with me how challenging it’s been having to recuperate from her emergency c-section, deal with high blood pressure, and give her older daughter the attention she is craving — all with Christmas just days away. My friend has such a great attitude about it all, but I couldn’t help but take a deep breath as I was driving home, realizing that my schedule is so unimportant compared to what others are dealing with at this time of year.
And perhaps the most important reminder of all is that I’m truly blessed to have our close family still here to celebrate Christmas with — whether in person or from afar. I get choked up every time I think of some of my friends who have lost loved ones this past year and will be struggling through Christmas without them. Mothers, fathers, grandparents, friends — all empty seats at the dinner table. As I’m rushing to grab last minute gifts or frustrated looking for the always-disappearing tape while wrapping presents, I’m going to stop and remember how grateful I am to have each person in my life to actually give a gift to. It’s all about perspective.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Mandy Watts is a stay-at-home mom who lives in Crownsville with her husband, Justin, who runs their family business, and their two sons, 4-year-old James and 2-year-old Luke.