Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Run, Run, As Fast As You Can. Make your holidays meaningful.

As a pre-school teacher I always felt that this first week in December was the most stressful time of the holiday season.  Parents trying to put up decorations, shopping, taking the perfect Christmas card photo, getting packages and cards ready to mail, finishing home made presents.  When the parents would pick up their children in the afternoon you could just see the dazed, I'm in a hurry look.  Their children felt the stress and you could see it in their behavior.  When things started to calm down the children would as well.
I had a pre-school in my home for a few years.  I will never forget Ben.  His parents were  from South Africa and had  British accents.  They dropped Ben at my door and
 said they were going to Target.  Ben told me that he and his sister hung up their stockings, put out their nutcracker and hung a wreath on the door.  That was it when it came to decorations.  Now I'm not sure if they did a tree .  He was so excited.  That's all it took for him to be ready for Christmas.
When his parents picked him up after only 3 hours, they were smiling and in a great mood. They had done their entire Christmas shopping in those three hours  They were done.  I was in awe about how simple there Christmas was.  Can you imagine.  Ben is probably in high school somewhere. 
It seems that many years at Christmas time I was injured in some way or another.  Hip pain, tennis elbow in both arms (so bad that I had to see a surgeon as they thought I had a tumor)back pain, always something. Even one year I was in the hospital Christmas eve.  I had fractured my ankle in October.  I had about 10 days in December that I could walk.  I got all my shopping and everything done.  I laid out baking supplies to start baking.  I had to go pick my daughter up at a friend's house.  As we were walking to the car I told Heidi, my daughter (yes she was named that because of Shirley Temple) to be careful pointing out a small icy spot.  Next thing I knew I was down on the ground.  I ended up hospitalized on Christmas eve.  This year it's my shoulder.  But that is getting so much better since I started therapy.  A lot of those injuries were brought on myself but just overdoing it.  I wish that all my gifts were homemade and for years I did that.  I must say that my family members aren't really into those kind of gifts.
Some years I used a theme for my presents.  When I sold 31, everyone got those kind of gifts.  It was fun as the actually gift was the container with a few things thrown in.  Then when I started selling Origami Owl, all the ladies and grands got lockets with special charms.  I had the little blue boxes all over my house.  I love O.O. because you can celebrate your own story. 
This year I think will be different.  I don't feel that stress.  I have a few decorations up.  I will put my wonderful bear hugging tree out.  I have a wreath and a tall standing Santa at my front door.  No outside lights.  We have no outlets in the front of our house. I used to decorate around the garage door which is on the side of the house.  Window lights don't work with our outlets either.  I may buy those little tiny lights that run on batteries but when they burn out you pitch them.  They aren't very bright but give a little of the candle light in the windows.  I usually leave them on and just replace when they burn out.
One injured year, I took Doodle to Kohl's and I loaded up a cart with almost every gift I was buying.  It actually was kinda fun.
  But with the grands, my list is all over the place.  I want to buy them gifts they will like as long as I can.
And two years ago I got to spend part of the $750 dollars I found on the sidewalk.  That was really fun.  I had to wait for 30 days to see if someone claimed it, and no one came forward.
So what's up this year......hmmm. Here are the things the littles have asked for........
K. Gift cards to buy her own toys.  I think this is what her mom told them to say.
M. Socks, underwear and a sweatshirt.  He's 8.  I think I will get him a hair brush as he is always primping and loosing his brush.
Miss Mabel told me she wanted a vet thingie table like Doc McStuffins.  That line is really flimsy and I don't like to buy plastic.  She's getting the American girl clothes that I got at a great sale.  I am making her some pegs.  (More on that later)
Goose......She said the gift card thingie and then turned around and said she really wanted an American Girl bike.......previous post.  She is almost done with dolls but this Grammy wants to give her something special over the gift cards.
Q. the little fisherman is getting a felt campfire with a fishing pull and fish to cook over the fire.
His big sister E. said she wanted money.  Since we will be there for Christmas I want her to open something so I got her Jamberry nails.  She is 8 going on 13.
Now the adults.......I have no clue, no clue at all. 
I'm sorry for going on and on  There is a reason for all of this.  Just don't make Christmas hard on yourself.   Do what you can .  Remember the needy when you are stacking presents under the tree.  Small gifts can be more meaningful and slllllooooowwwwdown.
Last night was the third grade musical.  I have two in the third grade here and one in Colorado.  They were all born 6 weeks apart.  It confuses people because the two her look alike and people ask if they are twins.  As I sat there with both sons and my DILs, two other granddaughters in the second row.  My heart was full.  My handsome boys (trust me, they really are) sat side by side chatting.  This was a fun musical as the kids were all over the place.  One class came down the isles after all the others were on the stage.  We couldn't find M. but he was in that class.  The kids all wore anything red and green and it looked so nice.  Except for one and that was our Goose.  She was adorable in all white and Ginger.  She left the stage to come out as the Gingerbread girl.  She is so adorable in just they way she "is".  She walked across the stage, down the steps all over the auditorium and then back on the stage and then back and forth.  The whole time smiling and waving to everyone.  I can't even tell you what the other kids were singing because my eyes were on her.  Here is her proud family smiling and so proud.  Max was in a little skit about Santa eating too much.  So perfect for him.
SO MY FRIENDS, this is what Christmas is really about.  The spirit of God is in us trying to make everyone happy.  To celebrate Jesus' birth in a peaceful way.
I'm sorry to go on and on.  Take some of this to heart  I have seen many Christmases and remember what makes them special.  It's not all those plastic toys.
Pictures...........Goose of course. This was on the school website.  Taken at practice.
My  fisherboy putting up their big tree that they cut down in the mountains
Mr. " I want underwear for Christmas" with his buddies after his class decorated one of the trees downtown.
Okay, I am out of here.


Kelly said...

I'm exhausted reading this post! Whew! I'm glad that I don't have little ones anymore (sometimes) when I'm reminded how much more work there is for them over the holidays. There's always classmate gifts, teacher gifts, school parties etc. Then there's Santa and gifts from the parents. My youngest is 13 so we don't do Santa anymore. And he is in middle school, so there aren't anymore class gifts or parties. Things have slowed down a lot more for us now. That does make a big difference in enjoying the holidays. I'm sorry to hear that your shoulder is still hurting. Hopefully, it will get better BEFORE Christmas.

Susie said...

Debby, We love those kids, don't we? I used to make myself crazy trying to get what everyone wanted or needed. I don't waste that much time or money now. I just give everyone money. It's so much easier. Ted makes a homemade wooden gift for each of our kids. Some times I get subway certificates for some of the kids that seem like grands to me. You better take care of yourself Debby, you only have so many bones to break or joints to bang up. Scoot your feet when the walks are slick. Blessings,xoxo,Susie

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

You always do so much for others my friend. We don't do a whole lot so it's not very stressful for us. Take care of yourself and pamper yourself when you get a chance! Hugs!

Vickie @ Ranger 911 said...

I sometimes wish gifts were not even part of Christmas celebrations. I love the time spent with family, but the gift buying stresses me out. Even at work there's a gift exchange! I've suggested we all bring items for the food shelf instead, but nobody cared for that idea. Can't win!

Insightful post Debby!

Winkel's Crazy Ideas said...

You are so right about Christmas. It's not about tons of stuff and food and having the perfect decorations. Spending time with loved ones and keeping it simple has come to mean more and more for us. One wants a carpenter belt another a thick wollen jersey (!). They are 12 and 18. The other two want lego and a 1:75 scale model to build. Hubby and l make our Christmas shopping i to an outing of sorts. He drives and carries the bags and l tick off the lists as we go. When we are done we finish up at Burger king and have hot coffee for the road home afterwards :). For me Christmas is all about God's gift and giving each other time. My mum will be coming this year, she is always so busy and hasn't had time to come in months. It will be nice to see her. My mother-in-law will come if her health holds, that makes 8 of us for turkey dinner. Wish you a lovely rest of the week Debby, you and all your lovely family. Blessings, Pam xx

Edna B said...

It sounds as if you've been oh so busy, but it also sounds very happy!

I love making or choosing gifts to give at Christmas, and I work in it all through the year. I don't like the chaos of rushing around at the last minute.

Christmas Eve was a fabulous event for many years at my house. Santa came, and everyone sat on his lap and he would chat with them and give them a gift. My house would be people wall to wall. It was fun and exciting.

One year, my hubby was in the hospital for Christmas, so Santa went to the hospital. He had so much fun there, that on the way home he kept getting out of the car and walking down the middle of some neighborhood streets. If you could have seen the look on the faces of the children peeking out of the windows on the houses. It was simply priceless.

Santa also would accompany me to the homes of a few needy families. We would deliver lots of gifts and complete dinners. Does it sound like I love Christmas? You betcha I do!!!

I put all my cards in the mail this morning, and most all my wrapping is done. I just have to put up my little tree and decorate it and I'll be all set. It's not quite so hectic anymore, but it's still really nice.

Enough of my babbling. You have a beautiful day, hugs, Edna B.