The other day, my youngest spawn asked me, "Mommy, what is your favorite holiday?" and I just smiled at her. What was I thinking? Oh for fuck sakes. That's what I was thinking. Let's look at the definition of "holiday" shall we?
"A day fixed by law or custom on which ordinary business is suspended in commemoration of some event. Any day of exemption from work. A time period of exemption from any requirement, duty, assessment. A period of cessation from work or one of recreation."
Every mom in the world just laughed until their kegel weak muscles leaked.
A holiday? REALLY? Where is our day off work? When do I get a stat? An exemption from duties happens.....when? Never? Oh okay. As a matter of fact, the birth of a baby over two thousand years ago means more work for us Mommas....a lot more.
I write often about not fussing with stupid shit like the details of a well decked out hall. I believe that if Mary can give birth in a crappy stable, we should stop giving a shit about ironing the napkins. If the mother of all mother's shrugged and said, "This will have to do!" then so can we.
But we can't shirk it all off now can we? We can't just throw our hands up, open a can of beans and flick on re-runs of Americas Funniest Home Videos can we? Well, we could, but that wouldn't do anyone any good now would it? Because we don't do Christmas for us, do we? We do it for them....all of them. We all have a THEM. Most of the time, they are our spawn but we also have husbands, wives, friends, families, teachers, pets and work people to DO Christmas for.
Christmas is not a "holiday" for Moms and there is no way to get around that. We can sit and be all koobayah about the whole thing and buy everyone a goat in Zimbabwe - which I am sure my Mother would love rather than the Talbots blazer. We can have the kids craft a tree out of shredded up bed sheets and decorate it with moth balls or some such garbage found on the 7th Circle of Hell also known as Pintrest. We could make Kale chips instead of cookies and give the Elf on the Shelf to some homeless guy so he can be tortured at midnight to think of something to do with the little fucker.
BUT SOMEONE STILL HAS TO DO ALL OF THAT!
That someone is the Mom.
So how can we possibly enjoy ourselves during the most hectic and exhausting part of the year? How do we not be resentful and cranky and want to murder the lineup of people at Costco who are waiting for a free sample of something they are never going to buy? How do we stop ourselves from wanting to punch that lady in the throat who is squabbling over fifteen cents at the Department store because a Flutterby Fairy is impossible to carry at the same time as a giant package of Lego? How?
It's really quite simple, we have to be grateful. We have to train our minds to replace the anger and frustration with a spirit of gratitude. We have to, because no one else is going to and like Santa, your children are watching. If you teach your kids nothing else in this world, teach them gratitude.
This isn't as tree-huggy as you might think. I'm not telling you to go into full lotus in the middle of the Santa line at the mall and start chanting. If you want to, that's cool but know that I will totally take your spot if you slack.
It's just about training your brain to embrace your life and the people in it.
It might not be easy at first but you can do it. I know that the shopping cart is brutally heavy and I know that pushing it through a snowy parking lot feels like a Survivor challenge but try to pause, for just one moment and be grateful that such abundance exists in your life. Be grateful that you can spend a mortgage payment to feed people you love.
I know running out for that ONE MORE THING pisses you off beyond comprehension but try to be happy that you live in a world that everything you could ever possibly want is within a ten minute drive and that you can most likely afford to buy it.
I know that you forgot the teachers gift and now you have to pull one out of your ass at ten the night before the last day of school. Be grateful that our children have teachers and teachers that deserve a gift because they love your spawn almost as much as you do.
Try...I know it is hard, believe me I do but try to be grateful that we have SO MUCH WORK to do because we have SO MANY PEOPLE that rely on us to love them enough to do it. We Mothers are never alone for Christmas and that is something to be truly grateful for.
There is nothing so wonderful as seeing your disheveled, bleary eyed children rip open that wrapping paper at 5am. There is no feeling so precious as hearing them scream "Thank you Santa!" and you and your partner in crime smile at eachother over your Baileys and coffee. Being a mom on Christmas morning is the best thing in the world. The hours of baking and wrapping and shopping and decorating and lists upon lists upon lists are all worth it at that moment.
Don't wait for that moment to be grateful, spread it out.You did that. You did it all and if you can do it with even just a small sense of peace, you will enjoy it all much more.
More on my Gluten Free Christmas to come, I promise. But for now, just stop, breathe, know that you make the magic happen for those you love and it is worth every second.
Merry Christmas Everyone.
Now, go get drunk.