Every year Christmas comes and goes and every year I feel that I didn’t have enough time to celebrate it to the fullest.
However this year was different. This was the first Christmas in a very long time that I felt I accomplished everything I set out to accomplish for the Christmas holiday. There was nothing more that I feel I could’ve done to feel more fulfilled.
To help myself for next year in feeling this accomplishment I’ll be writing a list of all the things I’ve done up till Christmas that’ll help bring back this nostalgic feeling for next year and hopefully some of my tidbits will help you as well;
• Decorate home with Christmas decor by the first week of November.
• Start listening to Christmas music the moment the station starts playing it. (Usually it’s the first week of November but if the station doesn’t play it, then play it yourself)
• Get Christmas tree the weekend Thanksgiving is over.
• Attend 2-3 outings related to Christmas. (This year we attended the Christmas Bazaar, Christmas in the Garden, and Peacock Lane.)
• Complete at least one selfless act during the month of December; there’s something about giving back. (We did Operation Snuggle this year)
• Buy gifts starting as early as November. (This year I had all gifts purchased for everyone by the first week of December and that really did alleviate a lot of my holiday stress.)
• Make Gingerbread houses or bake cookies; we did both.
• Watch a Christmas movie at least twice a week in the month of December. Left me feeling that I’ve watched every Christmas movie I wanted to watch and I happily put the dvds back on the shelf for next year.
• Purchase gifts that are both need-based and want-based. Giving a lesson to our kids about needs feels so important to me for some reason.
• Take Christmas Eve off along with the day after. (This will give you time to finish last-minute holiday preparations the day before with giving time to recuperate the day after.)
• Always attend the candlelight service at church on Christmas Eve; it really sets the mood for the next day. (We were feeling under the weather and almost didn’t make it this year but so thankful we did!)
As I’m writing this (on my day off 😉) I’m left feeling that I had an amazing Christmas holiday and that I’m actually okay to take down the Christmas tree and decorations by the new year. Now this is not how I usually feel every year. I usually feel sad to do so only because I didn’t feel like I’ve accomplished all I wanted to for the Christmas holiday. But this year I have.
Now mind you the holidays don’t always go smoothly. Especially those in blended families know what I mean. And this year especially did not go smoothly for us right before the holidays.
With my hub’s parenting plan rotating every year for holidays/bdays/wknds; this year we were allotted to pickup my bonus kids Christmas morning at 10am until dropping them back off at the end of Christmas break. Now for those who are new in reading my blogs, see “This too shall pass” which explains why me and hub’s were apprehensive this year and didn’t know what we’d be expecting during pickup yesterday.
For peace of mind and not wishing to deal with drama I decided not to come to the pickup. (And maybe this is also one of those things that helped my Christmas Day.) So I cleaned and got our house ready to welcome our kiddos for the day and winter break.
When my bonus kiddos came in their pjs they hugged on me and gave me a bucket of store-bought cookies letting me know it’s from their mom. That she bought it to give to my hub’s and I. Now some of you may be thinking, “how sweet!” or “it sounds like she’s trying to make up for all the previous issues from last week”. But those who know the court battles we’ve had to pay for know full well that my bonus kid’s mom did not want gifts to be given between parents or families. (Apparently since I tended to give gifts to my bonus kid’s family for Christmases and Mothers Day it did not suit well and the issue was raised in court for us all to stop.) So while this seemed to contradict the parenting plan we didn’t let it affect our day.
And that was that; the thought came and left as quickly as it had come with focusing back on the holiday in front of us.
The rest of Christmas Day morning left us busy with opening gifts, watching Christmas Break-In, eating cookies, playing with the new gifts, and getting ready for the big Christmas dinner.
For those who may not know, I am Ukrainian. And when Ukrainians have a holiday dinner event planned, we go ALL out. Having most of us in the family for dinner (We missed you Tim and Anna!) was also the cherry on top. We ate such amazing foods, the dessert was THE best, we opened more presents, watched a family movie, and the games played between our parents was just so funny. Basically it was just perfect.
Now the meaning of Christmas was never lost during any of these events listed above. We praised the Lord during these times and all He has done for us. And will continue doing so even after the holidays are over.
With a feeling of thankfulness, I finally feel like this holiday has been accomplished. And I can say goodbye to it without sadness.
So goodbye Christmas, until next year. 🎄