Feel the Magic...

Do you remember last Christmas?

When you came home from school to find that your house had been transformed into a beautiful Christmas wonderland with the exception of the ornaments and the star, which your mother saved for you and your siblings to help decorate the tree with.

The next day, the house would smell so delicious and you would get to assemble the plates of goodies and help deliver them to your friends neighbors.

Gifts for your teachers would be wrapped and placed in your back pack, but you had to remember to pull them out and give them to your teacher!

You saved your dollars and pennies for weeks so that you could buy some gifts for your family and best friends. You would hide in your room and meticulously wrap them and deliver them or place them under the tree.

And speaking of the tree, that magic tree, where beautiful wrapped presents, for you, would magically appear overnight!

Christmas Eve was filled with stories and family togetherness and Christmas dinner was beautiful and Divine! Sometimes you'd have to peel the potatoes or set the table, but most of it just magically appeared.

The weeks of Christmas were filled with joy, laughter and excitement! It was all you could do to wait for it to come again next year!

And then, you grew up, and became the mother, and realized where the magic of Christmas actually came from. Your mother.

And now, that you are the mother, it dawns on you that she had spent hours and hours shopping for the perfect present (and turkey and decorations...) Then the presents were hid until they could be wrapped (and re-hid because she suspected you of snooping). Teacher gifts were bought and assembled after the children were long ago in bed. After she'd bought the decorations, she'd spent days transforming the house and simmering the potpourri on the stove. Hours were spent baking and baking and baking some more. The Christmas Eve program had been planned and gathered and organized. Christmas day was spent in the kitchen, cooking the perfect meal, while you had played in the other room with your new toys.

And all this (and more) was done in addition to the dinners, basketball practices, laundry and cleaning that came with the regular day to day.

And as you try and replicate the magic for your own family, somewhere along the way, you realize that Christmas has become less magical for you, and much more stressful.

Sound familiar?

I've been amazed lately at the number of family and friends who spend every December, completely stressed. Last night, I was telling my Sidekick this and he said,"Well, it doesn't have to be, they just need to start early." and my jaw just dropped as I stared at him.

Seriously? You started 2 days ago. And your job, your only job, is to buy my presents. PERIOD.

I decorated the house. I bought ALL the other presents. I ordered and addressed all 100 Christmas cards (and had the picture taken and gathered all the updated addresses). I assembled teachers' gifts and made Christmas goodies. Me. The mom.

(My gift better be awesome.)

To be fair, I'm not at all upset with my Sidekick (I'd rather do it all my way anyway) and I'm not stressed out.

My secret- my Christmas is done by Thanksgiving. (this year, I was a little behind, since I was laid up during my normal prep time, but I'm almost caught up). My Christmas card pics are taken in August. (the sky is brighter= better light, and you have more time.) My Christmas cards are ordered and addressed and stamped in early November. Teachers presents, friends gifts, and 90% of Christmas is bought and hidden (and sometimes wrapped) before I buy my November turkey.

I LOVE Christmas and I refuse to spend the month stressed. I'm not big on stressing anyway- what does it really solve- but I want a magic Christmas, for me too.

My December is filled with magic elves, wrapping presents and making goodies. The month is calendared out at the beginning so everything I want to enjoy gets done. The house smells good, the carols play, and every night is a Christmas movie (well- most nights).

My Christmas is still magical. Even as a mom.

And when I do get behind, or a ball gets dropped, I don't fret it. Every day is filled with enough laughter, enough song, enough magic, enough giving, that I figure people will remember what I have done and never notice what I missed.

You have 3 weeks left. Make sure you take some time this month to remember what Christmas is really about and and relish in the magic.

The stressing, can wait until next month.

Whaddya think?

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