“A lovely thing about Christmas is that it’s compulsory, like a thunderstorm, and we all go through it together.”

-Garrison Keillor

A little over a month ago, I wrote a post about all the wonderful things I would make happen with my children this holiday season. Well, Christmas is just 4 days away, so I thought it’d be a good time to re-visit that list and see how I did:

  • Baking cookies with Nate  CHECK 
  • Taking a ride on the Essex Steam Train as a family  FAILED
  • Teaching Nate about what it means to “give to others” by donating food and gifts to shelters and explaining why we do this  CHECK 
  • Reading Christmas books with the boys  FAILED
  • Making cocoa and watching Christmas movies HALF CHECK (does one movie count?)
  • Cutting down a real Christmas tree from a field  CHECK (does it count if the boys were screaming?)
  • Helping Nate write his first letter to Santa  CHECK
  • Watching the Thanksgiving Day parade with the boys while baking pies  CHECK (except Nate hated the parade…)
  • Finally making it to the Mystic Seaport Lantern tour  FAILED

TOTAL SCORE: 5.5 out of 9 (ouch!)

Not the best score, eh?

I started this holiday season out determined to make it amazing for the boys, and truthfully, for myself. I wanted to make family memories they’d look back upon fondly someday as they told their own children about their childhood Christmases. Instead, Nate came down with croup (again!), Joshua got his first ear infection, and I was sick for a full week. Grad school took over my evenings, and continues to, and somehow, we just ran out of weekends entirely.

However, as Garrison Keillor says, we all go through it together. Perhaps my ideal of what this was all supposed to be is in shambles on the floor, but as he went to bed tonight, Nate made me realize that that’s all that was in shambles- my ideal. As he got into bed, he sat up and stared out his window for a moment then smiled. “What are you doing?” I asked. “I’m just thinking about how much I love reindeer and how I can’t wait until they’re right out my window on my lawn!” he replied. We might not have made it to everything on my list, but I think we’re still doing alright. I guess my goal for the new year will be…stop setting goals for everything in life and just enjoy it! 🙂

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