And then reality hits. Hard.
It all started the morning of Christmas Eve. It is my favorite day of the year as my family has always celebrated with a large meal, church going, and present opening since I was a young girl. So now, as a mom, I desire for my own boys to experience the joy that I reminisce about each year. However, my boys messed with my mojo with their arguing over Minecraft and whether someone was chewing too loudly.
Yes, that's my life in a nutshell.
As we drove up to Orange County from our home in North San Diego County, I just stared at the ocean and wondered what my husband, Kevin, and I are doing so wrong that our kids cannot even manage to call a truce on Christmas. My disappointment crumbled dreams of warm fuzzies.
Once we got to my sister's house, the boys swam with their cousins (oh, the struggle of a California Christmas!) while the adults caught up on the latest of jobs, travel, and kid updates. Suddenly, the cousins had some issues to resolve and it went downhill from there. We ate later than planned, missed our first Christmas Eve service, and opened presents with me feeling nothing but DONE. Once we loaded up our things, we got in the car and I declared it the worst Christmas ever.
Yes, the food we spent hours cooking was rewarding and delicious. Yes, I love my time with my siblings and their spouses. And yes, seeing my parents with all of us under the same roof fills me up because I know these times are rare. However, I was so overwhelmed with what should be that I could not appreciate what was.
I couldn't shake it off and went to bed unable to let it go. The anticipation of the perfect Christmas and then the let down of Christmas failure, was simply too much for me this year.
But, the next morning brought Christmas renewal.
As the boys politely took turns opening gifts, I sat back, slowly sipped my coffee and absorbed the moment. The pinnacle was when the boys gave their gifts to each other. There was even an unprompted hug from a certain 9 year old to a too cool almost 13 year old. After presents were opened, we hung out in our pajamas and watched the boys build barriers for an epic nerf gun battle.
It was in that moment that we had Christmas. Just the five of us snuggled in our Christmas pajamas. It wasn't about a big meal, a perfectly executed schedule, or young ones getting along seamlessly.
At that moment nothing else mattered. The warm fuzzies started their trickling. It was all I had hoped for: giving, love, and family.
It certainly was not the most perfect Christmas ever, but the imperfection of it all was absolutely perfect.
Merry Imperfect Christmas and Happy New Year. May you find perfection in the imperfection in 2016.