Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Holiday Season - A Reminder of What It's All About

It's funny how kids have a way of bringing us all back down to earth and really knocking a little sense into us from time-to-time. 

Sometimes we get so busy going through the daily grind that we overlook the parts of life that should matter most.  We can get so focused on housework and bills and getting dinner on the table and work and errands and well, life in general.  (Yes, I realize that was a major run-on sentence!)

This time of year as we enter into the holiday season, all of the mayhem and craziness often compounds ten-fold.  There's the holiday shopping, the decorating, the family gatherings, the gift-wrapping, the classroom treats to make, the homemade cookie-making, the time spent on treats or crafts for gift-giving, the traveling, the visits to Santa and so much more!  (So much more, in fact, that it can make our heads spin!)

My dear, precious children have endured years of my craziness during birthday and holiday seasons in our household.  I am fanatical about everything being just-right.  I make lists way in advance and act like an insane person when planning and preparing for a specific event or occasion. 

I am often a lunatic in the days and hours prior to a party.

You can't play in that room 'cuz mommy already cleaned in there.

Don't sit on the couch for the rest of the afternoon.  I already fluffed all of the pillows and cushions!

Honey, can you just grab a banana and some string cheese for lunch today?  I just did all of the dishes and you'll mess up the kitchen!

(You think I'm kidding.)

So, yesterday one of my kids really presented with me a moment in time that gave me a swift kick in the booty! While they were at school, I had complied one of my typical before-a-party lists in preparation for hosting the Thanksgiving gathering for the family on Thursday.  Of course, it was a four-day outline of what was expected from each family member chore-wise ... complete with color-coded initials indicating which family member had which job.  I sat them down after school and held a little family meeting to go over it with them.  (Of course, their enthusiasm was simply overwhelming!) I got the every-popular roll of the eyes!
Then, my sweet, little five-year old, Ayvah, said something that truly stopped me in my tracks and made me take pause.
How come you never make lists of fun stuff to do?

Zinger.  (A big, fat zinger!)
She had me there!
I got to thinking about priorities ... where I invest a lot of energy at.  And, what life for my kids must be like at the holidays sometimes.  Sure, they are blessed with piles of presents under the Christmas tree and all of the expected, material stuff.  But, why - during the time of year when the focus should be on family and our blessings - do I make it all about tasks, chores, to-do lists and perfection?

So, I've decided to do exactly what my five-year old suggested - have us all sit down over Thanksgiving weekend and write out a list of FUN STUFF to do during the month of December.  I've already gotten a bit of input from the kids after revealing my idea of the "Fun List" to them. 

Bowling.  A family "camp-out" in the living room over their holiday break from school.  A girl's-only night out.  And, a "mom-makes-snow-angels-with-us outside" day!

Don't these all sound so fun? 

I am thankful that I was reminded of just what is important during the holiday season.  It's about family and our overwhelming blessings.  It's about taking time to relish the moments we have with those we love.  It's about pausing to appreciate the gifts in our lives ... the gifts of love, friendships, relationships and selflessness.  It's about building new traditions and memories with those we cherish in our lives while passing on the heartfelt and precious ones to the next generation.

I know that during this week's Thanksgiving gatherings and as we enter into the Christmas season, I plan to carve out moments with my family that will become beautiful memories for us all in the future.

May you all have a love-filled and memorable holiday season.  And, may we all stop to remember what it really is all about.

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