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Holiday Season~ The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

by Deborah Cruz

The holiday season has arrived

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! On the other hand, is it? Sure, it’s merry and great, filled with bright lights and shiny ornaments, Santa Claus, memories that warm the very cockles of your heart, and a plethora of gifts…for the little ones. However, how is it for us parents, really? It’s stress, commitments, over extending personally and financially, wrapping gifts, last minute shopping sprees, cooking, cleaning, traveling, and laundry. Oh, my! All compounded by the fact that we still have to perform all the menial tasks of our day-to-day life; housework, job, working out and what have you.

Pictures with Santa 2005

Don’t get me wrong; I do love the holidays, as much as anybody else does. In fact, I absolutely adore and embrace all the chaos that comes with the holiday season. Every year at this time, you know sometime between Halloween and New Years Day, my world seems to work itself into this great big foaming mass of chaos. It’s like a sugar high for the soul. I don’t remember it being like this before I had my girls. I, fondly, remember the holidays consisting of leisurely shopping trips in which I employed the one for you two for me technique. By the end of the season, I had accumulated a fabulous new wardrobe at a very reasonable price and all family and friends were sufficiently presented with a gift that they would thoroughly enjoy. The husband got anything his heart desired. Parents received a very thought filled, non-cookie cutter gift. Win; win, right? That was then.

Fast-forward six Christmases, the holiday season consists of Halloween costumes that have been changed in triplicate. School Halloween parties. Nutcracker auditions. Thanksgiving feasts for upwards of 30 people hosted by me because I am trying to create traditions and memories for my girls. In the past, we would have enjoyed attending dinner at one of our Mother’s houses but since we’ve had our children and want to include everyone in the holidays, we are now hosting both sides of the family at our home. Nutcracker rehearsals, Thanksgiving parties at school, the Nutcracker tea, and the Light festival. Black Friday, three Christmases, two Christmas parties, a school Christmas party, a pageant, Church, more last minute shopping for someone I’ve inevitably forgotten, a New Years eve gathering amongst family and a partridge in a pear tree. There is barely time to breathe little lone sit back and truly enjoy the smiles and giggles of little people in my life. Get the picture?

Bella’s 1st Christmas as a Big Sister
The girls first Christmas together
Gabi’s fir
st present EVER!
When we look back at the pictures a year from now or twenty, they will reflect the happiness of the end results; Girls in their (final choice) costumes trick or treating amongst their friends or walking hand in hand into the sunset on a journey to get more candy. The Thanksgiving photos will be an agglomeration of warm-hearted smiles and hugs on full bellies. Photos of cousins hugging, grown ups enjoying one another’s conversation, Grandparent’s holding children closely, Rock band marathons, and love…loads and loads of love, right there in the heart of our home; the kitchen. Christmas photos will be bright lights, family parties, Christmas trees, and smiles on children’s faces as wide as the Montana sky. The pictures will reflect the true sentiments of the holiday season and none of the bitter chaos of its preparation. That’s Mommy and Daddy’s little secret, sort of like Santa Claus.
Our second Christmas with both our little girls

Last year, Bella’s first ever Christmas pageant for school
The girls @ the Nutcracker tea 2009 in Richmond

Therefore, you see, it really is the most wonderful time of the year. Nevertheless, the memory is different depending on your perspective. Stress is the killjoy of happiness. Let go; embrace your chaos and enjoy your littles. When you look back in 20 years, don’t you want the memory to match the photo? Happy Holidays and Happy Mothering!

Santa at Macys in Chicago this year during Light Festival
My girls and I having lunch @ the Walnut Room in Chicago

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Big Fat Gini 2010/11/22 - 11:11 am

Stress is the killjoy of happiness…

No kidding. I couldn't have said it better myself. And, it is exactly why I have chosen to just not participate in the chaos. With four sons and a husband, there is plenty to do around here without the added stress of trying to please everyone else. Instead, I'm choosing to rejoice in my family and friends, enjoy good food and appreciate how blessed we are.

PS: LOVE the photos of your girls over the years. They are adorable!

Mary 2010/11/22 - 12:02 pm

This so took me back to when I had young children. It was so stressful! I am looking forward to grandchildren! Think those might even be more fun Christmases!

Bella @ If This is Motherhood 2010/11/22 - 12:23 pm

You have a beautiful family! I was just pointed to your website by a friend who informed me that someone already had a blog named The Truth About Motherhood (the title I chose for my blog lol) so I am changing mine as soon as I figure out what the heck to call it. That was a great post and so true! I refuse to be stressed out on the holidays. I have boycotted holiday "obligations" so to speak by refusing to allow myself to worry about impressing the masses. All I want is to enjoy my family and friends.

Day 2 Day Living 2010/11/22 - 12:36 pm

I love Christmas, I really really do but I HATE the stress! It seems this time of year really gets to me. But being bipolar it makes things worse. Things like this can set of manic episodes.

parenting ad absurdum 2010/11/22 - 1:02 pm

Oh my gosh – the picture in the pink hat? I just want to pet it!!

EazilyAmuzed~Kelley 2010/11/22 - 3:23 pm

Great post and photos! You are creating wonderful memories. I used to be a total scrooge at Christmas time but now that I have a little one thats all changed. Hes only 2 1/2 though and theres only one. We'll see what the years bring. Keep up the amazing work mama!!

Truthful Mommy 2010/11/22 - 12:41 pm

@ Gini,
Stay strong, dont let the stress kill your joy!Enjoy your boys and believe me life will be so much more fulfilling!Im going to embrace the moment, chaos and all and enjoy my Christmas…at least Im going to make a conscious effort this year!LOL

Truthful Mommy 2010/11/22 - 12:42 pm

Ive heard its a lot less stress and a lot more love when its the grand babies. Something to look forward to:)

Truthful Mommy 2010/11/22 - 12:43 pm

Im glad you stopped by! You are smart.I always get so wrapped up in the chaos but this year I am going to be mindful to enjoy my time with my girls!

Truthful Mommy 2010/11/22 - 12:45 pm

@Day to Day,
Stress can for sure make you manic!Try and take it all with stride. i know its easier said than done.Wishing you peace and happiness and no or very minimal mania:)Happy Mothering, my friend!

Truthful Mommy 2010/11/22 - 1:10 pm

LOL! I was in love with that coat and hat.Both girls wore it to death. It was too adorable. I wish they made one big enough for me:)LOL

Truthful Mommy 2010/11/22 - 3:28 pm

Thanks!Ive always loved Christmas, its just gotten so hectic that I've had to remind myself to slow down and enjoy it.Its not something to get through…its a wonderful time of year to be shared with those you love! Good for you figuring it out before it got too crazy!

~*Jess*~ 2010/11/23 - 4:00 pm

Seriously stress DOES kill the holidays. I'm trying to take a more carefree attitude this year. I usually hate going home for the holidays because it seems like so much stress, work and people to please. But this year? I'm gonna try and enjoy it. And if I gotta play the pregnant lady card, I totally will.


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