Hectic. December. Why does it have to be that way?
Actually, my entire year was hectic. Managing graduate school, an internship, a stay-at-home toddler, a kindergartener’s schedule, laundry… it has not been easy. Errors were made. Assignments were late. Nothing worse than forgetting Polar Express night at my son’s school. A special ticket was sent home for an evening of holiday movie magic while dressed in pjs. My little one kept saying it was his special movie night and I had no idea what he was talking about. He cried himself to sleep. The next day he talked about his plans to share a pillow with his good friend and promises of bracelet exchanges. Bad mommy moment. Oh, the guilt.
Throw in a couple of half marathons and I am exhausted. Depleted.
Now, the time has arrived. The light at the end of a long tunnel. I counted down the months, days with fellow classmates. Ah, holiday break. So many things to catch-up on and long awaited time with my family.
Oh yeah, Christmas. Eek. So much to do. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Christmas time and all the festivities that go along with it. BUT, this year I really need a break and I want to spend every moment with my kids and husband. I miss my little guy who started school this year. When I stayed home with my kids there was endless time with them, those days are long gone. Time with them is precious and I look forward to it.
Something’s got to give. And so it did. Christmas cards fell by the wayside. Early shopping, negative. Thoughtful gifts for out of state relatives, fail. Fresh baked goodies for friends, next year. My first day off of school and internship was Friday. Friday and Saturday I was in bed sick. Yesterday was the first real day off and we did something I have looked forward to…baking and decorating sugar cookies with my sweet boys.
I loved having the entire day to spend at leisure. Every time I bake or cook with my sons, memories flood in from my childhood. My maternal grandparents owned a bakery. My paternal grandparents owned a cafe in Greece. My father owned a restaurant for 25 years. Most of my fondest memories are standing on a stool side-by-side a beloved family member stirring, mixing, beating eggs. We made homemade breads for dinner and dessert was NEVER bought from a store. Fast food was a rare occasion. I recall less than five happy meals before my fifteenth birthday.
My grandparents have all passed on. My mother, too. All of my family lives in Arizona and Greece. Texas is home to my husband, my children and myself. Christmas never feels right. This year I want to focus on our small family, while recharging my batteries.
We enjoyed our cookie day. We listened to music and danced while we pressed cookie cutters into soft dough. We giggled and ate colored sugar with our fingers. We iced cookies and decorated broken cookies sending them to the “boneyard.”
I watched their busy, little hands at work and it warmed my heart. My 3 year-old would make my grandma proud ~ with the way he managed a rolling pin. My big kid firmly pressing the cookie cutter with both hands to form a well-shaped cookie ~ my grandpa would smile.
Yesterday felt like Christmas. I may be selfish, but I want a few more of those days before the holiday ends. Next year I’ll have the shopping done early and cards mailed the weekend after Thanksgiving. This year we will focus on our time together and I plan to savor every moment.
Do you ever take a break from any of your holiday obligations?