Christmas came and went faster than this Starbucks peppermint mocha. With my husband R not being able to travel home until December 20, I probably subconsciously didn’t allow myself to fully enjoy the season until he could enjoy it with us. Add to the fact I held off on putting up Christmas decorations until you’re “supposed” to. The day after Thanksgiving, that is.
I’ve always put up Christmas decorations early, out of guilt that the kids were having another Christmas without their beloved Daddy, of sadness that I had to put up and take things down all by myself again, out of wanting to feel something other than the lonliness that comes with the territory of being a military spouse. I’m pretty sure one year I put up the Christmas tree the day after Halloween. Wouldn’t you do that for your kids?
Wouldn’t you do that for yourself?
This year I waited.
This year Christmas went too fast.
Will I hold off next year? Will we actually finish the Advent chain next year? Will the kids not get the flu during winter break?
Only time will tell.
Also in case you didn’t notice, we totally sucked big time when it came to our Advent chain! The purpose of our Advent chain was to give the kids something to think about other than themselves. With the dog getting sick, with caring for one another when one of their siblings got the flu (yes, they all got it one right after the other!), with volunteering at church, and with making cards and treats for our family, friends, and neighbors I would say mission accomplished!
This year the kids got less and didn’t mind or didn’t notice. Not that I didn’t want the kids to get anything, but I wanted them to really appreciate the people, the thought behind the gifts. I wanted them to feel like they had to acquire stuff. They helped me make cookies and treats and packed them into boxes to be mailed. They hand delivered treats to our neighbors. I think they’re getting it.
Tonight as I enjoy this coffee all by myself (compliments from my sister-in-law and her family, not to mention the gift card from my husband’s grandparents!), R and the kids are playing some sort of role-playing game which he forbade me from disclosing on this blog. If I happened to TAKE A PICTURE OF THEM PLAYING, it wouldn’t count, right?
The dogs are fine. Buddy, the bigger dog, had a check-up last night and now we are waiting on blood test results. He is a riot, especially at the vet, since he believes himself to be the size of the chihuahua. He SITS NEXT TO ME at the vet and tries to hug me when I am sitting or standing.
Yes, all sixty six pounds of him!
Had the dog or the kids not gotten sick, I probably would have felt guilty about not doing more, not giving more, not spending more. It sounds silly for me to say it out loud (or in this case, see it with my own eyes) but these would have been the expectations I would have imposed on myself.
This year I see everyone content with less, everyone happy to just spend time with each other, everyone just chillin’ and grateful for friends and family.
I see homemade presents and time spent with each other deemed more important than anything anyone could ever buy. If we don’t have each other, we don’t have anything at all.