|I think this was take 5. Love all my sillies.|
|The man who helps make it all happen.|
Is it easy for you to Relax & Enjoy the festivities of the Holiday season? The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, until Emerson danced and caught a stocking and pulled the entire shelf of decorations down. Yes, that is the real story of our Christmas. Emerson and Ethan planning a mistletoe attempt on me. Having me sit in a specific place in the family room. They asked me to look up, and there taped to the ceiling were plastic red berries, filling in for the mistletoe and Emerson bouncing over to kiss my cheek. Within seconds the entire greenery, lights, decorations, and stockings pulled down from about a 14 foot wide display. Emerson ran off crying. The other boys were shocked, and Eric came and sat in the middle of the mess to access the damage. I did the typically high tech mommy things. I grabbed my camera and took a video.
Perhaps having now celebrated my 25 years of Christmas with children I can offer some ways to truly enjoy the magic of Christmas.
1. Don't overreact to anything.
Life is not perfect, nor will this holiday be perfect. Mishaps will happen. Even with the best of intentions there is sure to be a mess somewhere.
2. Take time to be with the most important family members.
It took me 25 years to learn the true embrace of time, with just one child. I took a break from parties and invested one night with each child. Count those nights. Five kids, five nights. Each child baked their favorites with mama, and then got to stay up and watch a Christmas movie and eat sweets late at night. The grown up kids just got to have "mama" time of long conversations.
|Eric measures out 2" apart for each cookie.|
|Ethan takes careful measure.|
|Emily & Emerson look over the Cooky book for recipes.|
|Emerson samples his cookie.|
3. When you get pajamas from your kids, wear them all day if you are home.
I got those lovely plaid pajamas washed and wore them, along with the beautiful pearl necklace with blue flowers. Through out the day, little boys come and want to hug you, and ask over and over, "mama you love your necklace." Wrapped around my neck through out the day, those little arms. The gifts they give mean something more than just an opened packaged.
|Both gifts from my boys.|
4. Do not worry about the scale.
If you didn't get the weight off before the Holidays' don't stress about it now. Especially when Santa gives you an entire box of chocolate covered cherries.
5. Take video's and pictures for those who bless you, but can not be with you on Christmas Day.
My parents scored a home run with the Lego sets they gave the boys. Capturing their gift embrace on video and than posting on my parents Facebook page is truly a blessing. With all the gifts kids can get, taking a moment to know who gave what, and thanking them is teaching manners too.
6. The day will go exactly as the condition of your heart.
Really, are you carrying bitterness, someone not deliver as expected? It's easy to carry the weight of sadness, the weight of broken relationships, and spend the day glooming. Believe me, I have some stories that could own this day, and make me miserable. However giving those things up and blessing those you are with, with a joyful heart sets a fabulous atmosphere. Don't let the actions or distractions of others own your fun. You choose your outcome, regardless.
7. Go on a trip around your home.
I have a large family. Everyone disappears into various corners of our home playing, building, and connecting with the new stuff. Take some time to wander into each room and sit with that child or spouse. Ask them questions around whatever they are doing. Step into their world of creativity, listen and engage each person right where they are at, no matter what age.
|David helps to build a plane.|
|Ethan explains how he lays out all the pieces to build his set.|
8. Take a nap, or pretend to.
About 15 years back I was busted by my sister. Turkey in the oven, gifts all opened, lots of energy, conversations, sweets and coffee. I needed a break. Playing hostess with the mostess to house guests took it out of me. Just some down time is all I needed, let's say about an hour. Everyone was occupied, so I excused myself and said, "I am not feeling well and am going to lay down." An out right lie. I did not know how to express my need for a bit of a rest. My sister came up to my room, and found me tucked in bed reading a book. She said, "you are not sick, you just needed a break." Which was spot on. When there is really no need for the hostess in you to shine, seize the moment and take a nap.
|Mama takes a midday nap. Much needed.|
9. Make another pot of coffee, and have the treat plate ready.
Make your pot of coffee. Once brewed put it in a coffee carafe. Get the treats all displayed on a plate and ready. This way when company comes unexpected, you don't have to fuss over being hospitable. You just pour and serve and sit in on the conversation. Now, this I did fail at. I had company show up on Sunday, the 23rd. They stayed for almost 3 hours of wonderful conversation. I only gave them one cookie to sample and offered nothing to drink. We truly got so wrapped up in conversation, that when I did think to offer them something, it was so late they passed.
10. Relax & Enjoy
Not one person will know the things that went wrong in your head. Unless you are whining and complaining and projecting your insecurities onto your guests. Relax, the floor really does hold a lot of crumbs. I can say that once I mopped the entire floor. It was sparkling before guests came. The door bell rang, and I thought it was the guests. Instead three boys with wet boots and a muddy wet dog ran from the front door to the back end of the house. All on the freshly mopped hardwood floors. Before I could assemble the troops, along with some ranting the guests showed and up and thus I did not even ask them to remove their shoes. Muddy floors, six muddy, legs and four paws taught me a fast lesson in "relax & enjoy". And so I did.
|Mama Elf Elizabeth ready to Relax & Enjoy|
I truly get that this time of year can bring on a huge level of stress. Each year this time of year will come and you get to have a do-over all over again. Think about the things that made this year special, and build future years around those special moments. Those things that caused you stress, remove from your future. Enjoying this time of year takes practice in Relaxing & Enjoying.
A Post Merry Christmas to you, Elizabeth