Merry, merry, very imperfect Christmas

It’s been a long, messy, noisy weekend.

I don’t have any pictures of the Christmas pageant at church last night. Due to a confluence of errors (I would say a “comedy of errors” but I’m not quite there yet) we were 10 minutes late for church, and the kids almost didn’t get to be in the pageant at all. Considering my 8 year-old, Will, was cast as “God” and had been practicing his lines all day, he was pretty distraught.

Yes, I lost my temper with my husband. Yes, I pouted in the car on the way, yes, I came close to wanting to yell “THAT’S IT! CHRISTMAS IS RUINED!”

But I didn’t. I held it together, I took some deep breaths, I marched into the church with my brood during the fourth hymn and burst into “Hark The Herald Angels” just as though I’d been there the whole time. Still ruffled in spirit, yes. But Christmas carols can overcome a multitude of irrational car flip-outs.

In the end it all worked out and the boys got to be in the play after all (though I was too mentally flustered to get photos by that point.)

After that we went out for pizza and came home to open our family Christmas Eve gift – a puzzle and gourmet popcorn – but I only got one photo…

…before the camera completely died. And we couldn’t find the battery charger.

Soon after, two of my boys, in their excitement to get to bed before Santa came, decided to save time by going to the bathroom at the same time. Streams crossed. There was significant urinary deflection and splashback. Owen’s brand-new Lego Star Wars PJ bottoms were a casualty. (also, the floors.)

Jon and I were up until midnight or so trying to get gifts assembled and stockings in place, working around a two-year-old girl who’d had a late nap in the car and absolutely refused to sleep. But we still managed to get to bed before it was too ridiculously late.

This morning we snapped just a few fuzzy Instagram photos (still haven’t found the camera battery.)

I can’t give a play-by-play of the gift opening. It was early and I was as mentally fuzzy as the photos.

 

But…

Maybe all I need is those few fuzzy photos to remember the real highlights of this very imperfectly wonderful Christmas weekend. Not every gift was a slam-dunk, but the kids were appreciative of what they got. Not every plan went off without a hitch, but in the end we came home happy to be all together.

And even if I don’t have a memory card packed with photos of the events, there are some things I know I’ll never quite forget. Like a couple of hours ago, when my six-year-old Owen clasped his arms my neck and assured me that this was “the best Cwistmas ever.”

I hope you have some similarly wonderful moments, etched on your heart if not on a hard drive. Merry imperfectly perfect Christmas.

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