Christmas fantasy vs. reality

Ahh, Christmas. Though I don’t celebrate it, I do love it, and I think this is why: Christmas brings magic into my life. Christmas is soft snow falling, cocooning at home. Gorgeous seasonal decorations and light. Delicious food, snacks, drinks. Time! Time off, time with family, time with friends, time to reflect. Lovely music, feel-good movies, coziness, love and security.
Christmas reality: this year, the reality was pretty far from the fantasy. My husband doesn’t celebrate Christmas and is quite an un-fan of the music, movies, etc. I’ve been feeling busy, even though on vacation, so my minimalist decorations (one piece of driftwood with some ornaments hanging from it) didn’t get hung until Boxing Day. No time for movies (though, okay, I did sneak in Sleepless in Seattle, though it’s not really Christmas but it does have some Christmas scenes). No good meal planning, so no good food. And the biggest problem? I was grumpy all day on the 25th. And Husband was tired. In other words, our home was kind of a magic-free zone.

Fortunately, we woke up on the 26th and decided to have a good day. We were happy and cheerful; things got done around the house; we got a family walk; and, as mentioned, ornaments were hung. Mainly, though, I reflected on why I was feeling grumpy and sad, and realized that I crave the opportunity to bring that escapist magic into my life. I let myself get too busy to do it, and let my spouse’s concept of how to do this season override my own needs. Now I can see that I don’t have to “do” Christmas to get that magic. I need to re-do my attitude (cheer up!); slow down; and prioritize time for the few things that really matter to me. And by being more in the moment and treasuring the moments I do have with my family, I’ll be making that magic day after day for us to enjoy. It’s not about Christmas, as I don’t need an external holiday that I don’t celebrate to make myself enjoy my life. I can make my days what I want them to be, and have a magical home life … if not all the time, at least more often.

Magical Evening

Driving up to my mom’s after work, I noticed the snow specks glistening in the near-dark. Baby was happy to see me, reenacting the same welcome she’s done all week: “MAMA! MAMA! as she smiles and races by the gate at the top of the stairs. We nursed and played the chase-me game as I dressed her up to leave.
I stopped to fill my empty gas tank on the way home and played peek-a-boo with a laughing baby through the car window. Things fell silent after that, and she was sweetly asleep when I arrived home.

We opted to let her sleep and so I gently laid her in bed, unzipping her jacket and taking off her mittens. We had the luxury of dinner and conversation, uninterrupted.

Given the weather, a sleeping but might-wake baby, and a tired hubby, I opted out of drumming for the night. On a cold, snowy evening, staying home was the much more desirable option.

A wonderful, luxurious, cleansing shower came next! No-poo worked the best it ever has on my hair, actually seeming to clean the way it’s supposed to.

Drying off, I heard noises from the bedroom so dashed nakedly to nurse my waking baby. After 20+ minutes of nursing, bottle, and lying down under the blankets, she opted to wake up. Happy and rested!

Since then, she’s played with me and her dad, counted socks, ridden on her car, and eaten some bites of pasta, cheese and orange. She helped unpack our grocery delivery, arranged the oranges in a bowl and took them out of the fridge again, learned about the orange’s belly-button, laughed and experimented as we did orange juggling tricks.

Now we’re reading, playing, doing laundry, and accepting that bedtime tonight will be late.

With the snow falling outside, it makes for a perfect evening.