Tuesday, December 6, 2011

a christmas reminder

I had big plans for last Friday night.

I saw images of a merry family singing along to Christmas songs on our way to find the perfect Christmas tree.

Instead, we got off to a very late start. I was finishing my mojo chicken noodle soup for a friend who suffered a heart attack this week. She is in her forties and it was discovered that she has a very rare heart disease which caused the attack.

Thank God that her heart will heal on its own and that she is finally home and healing.

Um, talk about putting things into perspective during the hustle and bustle of the holidays.

So as we ordered our children to use the bathroom, get their shoes on, and get in the car while I threw dirty pots into the sink and gathered the soup, salad, and cookies, we all began to crumble.

We weren't even out of the house yet.

On our drive to find the award winning tree, we listened to 3 boys bicker and complain.

We took away minutes for extra playtime.

Threatened to turn around.

It was ugly.

I may have even muttered under my breath, "I hate Christmas."

And as Jack, our wild 4 year old, ran around the tree lot picking up every piece of twine and played hide and go seek behind the trees we were inspecting, I let my frustration boil over and marched him to the car.

My perfect Christmas images and spirit were slowly crashing in sync.

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And when we got home, my vision of our family of 5 joyfully decorating the tree, while watching a Christmas movie and munching on popcorn as we took breaks to laugh and chat, crashed too.

Jack was tipping the tree over as he insisted on climbing on the couch arm to reach the highest branches.

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Charlie grew frustrated with the ornaments that slipped from his appointed branches.

And well, Luke, chose to put stamps and return labels on our Christmas cards.

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Before you think he's all that, you must know that it was a job. He's trying to earn money for a very expensive Lego set. He's had all week to do the job, but he chose tree decorating as the right time.

Eventually, the star was set by Jack. It was his turn this year. It was Jack's 1st time. The star fell down and broke before we even had a chance to photograph it.

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But, Kevin who is a handy hubby was able to mend it.

In exhaustion and defeat, we put the boys in their pajamas and crawled into my bed. Each boy picked a story from our Christmas Story box.

I could feel their warm bodies inch towards mine. A sweet shaved headed 5 year old rested his head on my shoulder. I could feel his warm breath.

I felt the tightness subside. My heart was not racing.

It clicked.

This is what Christmas is about.

Our family.

Togetherness.

Simple moments to be grateful for.

Reading stories about the joy of the season in which we celebrate the birth of our King.

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My hope is that you may each find the simplicity of the Christmas season.

Much love,
Katie

15 comments:

Genn said...

I swear every post you have written lately I could have written myself.
Our tree outing went much the same way. I was in an awful mood. SO much fighting and bickering going on. I might have muttered I hate Christmas under my breath too.
I don't know why we have those merry expectations because they never play out the way we dream them too. But I am glad you were reminded what the season is about. It's just not always in the momentst that we thought would remind us.
Happy Holidays Katie.
Even though they keep ya on your toes, your boys sure are cute!

Greta said...

Sorry for laughing, but I know just what you're talking about!
It is hard not to get stressed watching those babies decorate the tree, and pick up the snow globes and spill thier hot cocoa all over the place!
They were out of control excited and kind of driving me crazy.
But as I watched all 3 of them hang ornaments, in a rare moment of quiet, I knew I'd miss it.
Someday.
Love your family and the way you take a second look at things.
Love from,
Greta

the lowes said...

i only have one little right now, but I feel like I related to the stress of trying to throw it all together...before we are even out of the house! ugh! but what a beautiful ending God gave you...with that sweet little head on your shoulder. that IS whats its about. so sweet. thanks for sharing! blessings (and peace!) to you today friend!

xo katrina said...

i'm smiling because i know exactly how you were feeling. i'm the same way - i have these scenes playing in my head of how things should go and they almost NEVER turn out that way. i'm slowly learning to not expect things to happen a certain way. my husband has been drilling this in my head lately - hope for the best but always prepare for the worst. and it has helped me a ton.

Lesley @ the floyd boys said...

sounds a lot like our christmas tree adventure. When we got the tree home we realized we lost the tree stand and had to go buy one..then the baby was terrified of the tree and screamed and hid in the kitchen, and then we ran out of lights and had go back to the store!

The tree looks great though!

Sara @ Seeing Purple Stars said...

this is exactly how our christmas tree went up! owen screaming, alex almost tipping the christmas tree over and dropping glass bulbs...and realizing our lights from last year were burnt out! but in the instant my hubby turned on the christmas music the boys started dancing around and i started dancing with them, completely forgot about the crazyness! :D

Angel said...

Take heart! It does get easier as they get older! My kids actually put their ornaments in aesthetically pleasing places now. So glad you got to finish your evening in simple moments of peace.

Kelly said...

aww katie, my favorite thing is snuggling down with my boys and reading stories or watching a movie.
i think we as parents have ideas and expectaions of how things will turn out but you are so right it's simply about the togetherness.
love to you friend.
xxO

Alyss said...

Gosh I feel like this alll the time! I've missed you my friend. :) I hope to see you sometime soon! Life has sucked me dry... but it's all in joy. :)

Flor said...

oh friend, i completely understand your frustration (especially during the car ride). i always have a vision of how i want something to turn out and of course it never works that way. i figure it's just God reminding me that I'm not in control :)

Jamie - Snow In December said...

This post hit the nail on the head, for sure. Christmas is not meant to be hustle, bustle, and stress! Why do we do it to ourselves?

I am trying, really trying, to relax and enjoy my family this Christmas.

hannah singer said...

lovely tree. bless you, dear one. you inspire me. Xo

Laurie J said...

family togetherness = awesomeness. almost as awesome as that is that you employed your son to do the least liked job of Christmas cards--the stamps. SMART mama!
<3

{cuppakim} said...

oh katie. this post totally made me giggle. ;)
i know, it totally was not what you dreamed, but i'm so glad you had your moment at the end where it came together for good.

the last picture of the boys is hilarious.
and the tree decorating as the time to do the "job" is kinda funny. ;) i would have done the same thing (i was a naughty kid like that).

Marie said...

so real, my friend.

i like the last picture of the boys...totally looking tuff and mean and boss!
*you should take this same shot every year and look back when they are teens!