My kids are so excited about Christmas.
They are 4 and almost 6, so this is prime time Christmas years for them. They are now going to remember the presents they get and the things that are done around the holidays. It’s vital that a parent does everything right. Right?
Except that I’m not a perfect parent, and I’m not great at doing Christmas things unless they have to do with work events or actual Christmas day activities. Every year I tell myself to enjoy the season, relax and enjoy it all. But that never happens. Instead, I’m extra busy, and if I can find time to watch a Disney Christmas movie, I’m doing well. There are all sorts of things I’ve seen online (OK, Pinterest) that teach me how to do some great Christmas crafts with the kids, but have I done any of them yet? No. It’s December 12 for crying out loud, and that means I only have 13 days to cram in lots of Christmas fun. Doesn’t that sound enjoyable to you?
Let’s also take into consideration that the holidays bring about a lot of extra adult events. Like work Christmas parties, adult Christmas parties, and, you know, parties we have on our own where we drink wine and watch Biggest Loser in our pajamas.
So far, what I have done with my kids for this Christmas season is TiVo a bunch of Christmas cartoons. As I type this, I want to go back in time and redo the past 12 days because it sounds so lame. I have watched some of those cartoons with them, but that won’t be a memory they will hold onto forever. They do seem to like snuggling with me on the couch, and I’m thankful they aren’t too old to want that, but how meaningful is that to a 4-year-old?
From now until Christmas, I plan on having the husband and I take the kids to Christmas under the Oaks, watching Elf and eating popcorn, making homemade Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle ornaments (I saw it on Pinterest), and baking Christmas cupcakes to give their teachers at school.
Hopefully I will actually do all that. Because these aren’t just their memories of the holidays, but they are also mine.
Here’s to getting it all done in the next 13 days.
This Christmas, my husband is working. He is a registered nurse and he was scheduled to work Christmas, which meant he was off work on Thanksgiving. I was happy to have him with the kids and me on good ole Turkey Day, but Christmas just won’t be the same without him around. I am proud of him, though, because he has not once complained about it, and I know he will make the people who are in the hospital that day, feel as comfortable as possible.
Six years ago I was in the hospital on Christmas day. My oldest son, Jerry, had to be born 12 weeks early because I was suffering from severe preeclampsia and my kidneys were shutting down. I was dying, and he had to enter the world a bit soon, so that little boy was born on December 23. While I hardly remember anything from the 10 days I spent in the hospital, I do remember how nice all of the nurses were. I cannot recall one that was rushed or rude. Of course, maybe nurses are extra kind to 24-year-old women who are dying.
Either way, I am going to miss my male nurse on Christmas day, but I am happy he can bring a smile to someone who is maybe not having their best Christmas ever.
(Chrissy Smith is the Sports Editor of Tammany West, and a former college athlete. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)