Remember that time when…?
I sure do! One of my biggest #momfails happened when my kids were quite young, maybe 4 & 6 years old. It was just before Christmas. I wasn’t allowed to spend much on Christmas (yes, I just said that… “not allowed” and it still makes me cringe when I think about it, but that’s a story for another day!) I’d been hoping we would all go to town as a family a couple days before Christmas, that the kids’ dad would distract them while I picked up the few gifts I’d wanted to give them and buy some special treats for our holiday dinner on the 25th. I’d put all my eggs in that basket so to speak and I’ll give you one guess what happened – you got it! My shopping trip for all of our seasonal celebration items was a bust.
Three days before Christmas we all got the flu – it was a rough one! We were all violently ill for 48 hours. I was able to get myself down to the drugstore and the dollar store in our village on Christmas Eve to get some stocking stuffers for the kids to enjoy in the morning, but our nice Christmas dinner was not going to happen. We didn’t even have a tree so we cut a small one down off the edge of our yard and put some old decorations and pipe-cleaner ornaments on it. (I still have those pipe-cleaner ornaments we made and the kids & I put them on our tree every year!)
I was upset with myself for not planning ahead. I couldn’t believe I’d left everything to the last minute. I was too ill and weak to do any baking for Christmas… not even shortbread cookies! It wasn’t what I’d hoped for but there wasn’t anything I could do about it. The kids were so good about it too. We’d always had very low-key holiday celebrations so it really wasn’t too different for them at that young age. They were actually kind of stoked because they got to have pizza on Christmas which for a 4 & 6 year old was pretty cool, lol! It all worked out, honestly, they only remember that they had pizza they don’t even remember being sick or just a few stocking stuffers. I played games with the kids, we watched our favourite Christmas shows, and we got cozy around the woodstove and enjoyed our Hot Cinnamons with marshmallows (like Hot Chocolate only made with cinnamon spice instead of cocoa). I love my kids so much! I’ve always been able to explain things to them and they are so understanding. And above all, whatever happens, the three of us take time to find something to be grateful for when things are not going smoothly to help us keep our perspective.
So, how did the Mom who didn’t have anything really ready for Christmas move forward from all that? Well, I made sure that I planned ahead the next year. And the year after that. And every year since! NO WAY was I ever going to get caught up like that again. I literally create a Countdown to Christmas List every November. I not only make sure that I have as much ready as possible ahead of time (like by December 20th), but I also space it out over several weeks to help take the stress out of the season and to lessen the financial burden by spreading it out instead of doing it all in one go. My list is my seasonal lifeline! Out of my disastrous Christmas all those years ago, a brilliant, easy plan was formed and it serves me well every year. Just call me the Christmas Phoenix who rose from the ashes – Merry & Bright!