Christmas has always been my favorite time of the year. Even when I had my first job as a teenager, I spent my money on extra Christmas decorations and matching Santa hats for my sisters. I’ve just always believed in the magic of Christmas. I guess when I became a parent I let the need to spread the magic sort of take over. For years I’ve stressed myself to stretch things so that we’d have these holidays of epic proportions. When our family went from three kids to seven, I still wanted to do it so big that my husband was starting out every new year in the black, negative, trying to catch up before we even got started. It took a year like this one for me to finally say “ENOUGH”!
For the first time ever, I knew there was just nothing else I could do. I had to face facts, there was no Blockbuster Budget hiding in my husband’s wallet, and once I made peace with that revelation, I found true joy in the season! I had all of my children gathered in one place, and the older they get, the harder I know that is going to be, so I decided TOGETHER is now, and will always be, our greatest gift.
I love watching children as the excitement of Christmas builds. This year I noticed my little boy Jordan- picking up all the trash in the yard, doing extra dishes, looking for any chore he could manage in hopes that he would be rewarded with a few dollars. In fact, he cleaned the entire yard for the bargain price of $3! (If you’ve seen my yard, then you know I got one heckuva deal on that one!) His big brother Trenton then offered to loan him a wallet to keep in it…… for a dollar, of course! (Talk about the laws of supply and demand! He also sold his Christmas candy to a kid in his class.)
Then my son Jayden got $20 for Christmas, and even though he’s usually my sneaky mischievous child, he tried to spend that money on everyone but himself. He wanted to GIVE to his brothers and sisters more than anything else. That’s the spirit that warms my heart right there. My oldest son, my Dyl Pickles, in all his teenage wisdom, showed honest gratitude for the gifts he received- as if he finally realized how much love has gone into the Christmases we’ve shared. And Blondie, well, she’s crossed over! She’s on Team Santa now and that’s a gift like no other.
But before this turns into a Norman Rockwell painting, it wasn’t all bows and sparkles and tidings of comfort and joy. We still had a little Diva who pointed out that Santa forgot her “Barbie Head” and that she was certain it was on the list. But I’m not gonna let her seven-year-old sass dampen the day, because somehow Santa fit almost every wish onto his sleigh!
I’m not sure how it all came together this year. I didn’t scramble. I didn’t skip paying the bills. I just did what I could do, and Santa came through, with the help of some pretty special elves! The “tuxedo” wasn’t the strangest request we had either. I think the strangest request was the set of kinetic balls that Trenton claims he has “ALWAYS WANTED”!
Why? I have no idea… but there was one thing here this Christmas that I could have definitely done without.
SOMEHOW, Mr. Innocent (aka Dyl Pickle) ended up with a flashlight that pulls double-duty. It has a built in Taser Gun. How fun for a 16-year-old boy! After a late night Christmas Eve and a few children who tried to be up at 3am Christmas morning, this mama was exhausted and tried to squeeze in a little mid-morning nap. I could hear the strange static sound, but I couldn’t quite make out what it was, that is until I felt like a shark bit my leg off. I woke up screaming bloody murder. Actually, I screamed so hard that ABSOLUTELY NO SOUND came out after the initial blood-curdling AGHHHHHHHH!
I sat straight up with my leg on fire, only to see my husband staring at me with his deer-in-the-headlights expression. All he managed to say was “I didn’t know it would get you through the covers…”
I should have killed him right then and there. I mean this is worse than the time he weed-eated my leg at his mother’s house on Springbreak- Worse than the time he broke three of my toes stepping on my foot with his steel-toed work boots- Worse than the time he popped a wheelie on four-wheeler and left me flat on my back in the woods. In fact, I might venture to say this is the absolute worst pain he has ever inflicted on me. The only thing that kept me from killing him is the thought of becoming a Lifetime movie of the week. “Mother kills Father in front of Seven Children on Christmas Day”… yeah, I can just see the trailer now. Luckily my need for revenge was fully satisfied when my son turned the taser on Daddy, who was still sort of wet from his shower…
Merry Christmas y’all, and God Bless Us, EVERY ONE!!