Dec 16, 2008 by

hello blog readers. thank you for tuning in again to my station. all stratton, all the time. it’s really a pleasure that i am not the only one enjoying my blog. my thanks to you all for your kind words.

this christmas, i’m noticing that it feels slightly impossible for me to get myself into the holiday spirit. into it into it. not just luke warm into it. i want to be so badly! but christmas is sneaking up on me, and we haven’t even finished decorating the tree yet. (leelee made a good point that last year my parents didn’t put theirs up until christmas eve, but still…). we tried to decorate it two nights in a row. the first night, we only got the lights on the tree and some garland on the mantle and the stairs. elias was chucking ornaments (what, mum? it was a patriots one- in the shape of a BALL. what did you expect me to do with it?) and it was more work to keep the ornaments safe than anything else. i envisioned eggnog and snuggling, tree-trimming and laughter, snow falling and movie-watching.

and i got ornament chucking.

yes. i was literally taking his picture as he was throwing ornaments. classic.
the second night the football game was on instead of rudolph, and elias thought it was fun to hang the ornaments on the tree and then take them off again. then put them back on. then take them off. you know. he’s such a boy. he can be gentle, but when they are all shiny and they look like balls, what can you do? he thought they were for playing sports. that’s my boy…
okay, so my expectations are out of television commercials and my son is TWO, so i’m not sure what needs to give, here. my best guess would be those expectations i had. don’t you find that it can be so hard to enjoy certain times when they just aren’t as you hoped or expected? just picture me chasing elias with the camera trying to capture some moments of our family tree-trimming. meanwhile he’s pitching ornaments like papelbon. ha!

i’m learning to just enjoy the moment. and if it’s not on video, it’s okay. instead of running around like a crazy person, as a mom, it’s important to remember the point of christmas. dave’s aunt shared this with me and i’d like to share it with you all:

If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls, but do not show love to my family, I’m just another decorator.
If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals and arranging a beautifully adorned table at meal time, but do not show love to my family, I’m just another cook.
If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home, and give all that I have to charity, but do not show love to my family, it profits me nothing.
If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday parties and sing in the choir’s cantata, but do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.
Love stops the cooking to hug the child.
Love sets aside decorating to kiss the husband.
Love is kind, though harried and tired.
Love doesn’t envy another’s home that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens.
Love doesn’t yell at the kids to get out of the way, but is thankful they are there to be in the way.
Love doesn’t give only to those who are able to give in return but rejoices in giving to those who can’t.
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails.
Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, golf clubs will rust. But giving the gift of love will endure.

i know i’m not worried about linens and gourmet meals myself, but i do like to share special christmas times and traditions. i’m now adjusting to what it means to do them with infants and toddlers. expectations can be killers in so many aspects of our lives. when i was younger i used to always say “blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.” attributed to ben franklin, i believe. and he’s right…in a sad, depressing way. now i would say to expect less, not to expect nothing.

…or should i say expect great things?! (that’s what an optimist would say)

problem is, i’m a realist (aka, a pessimist in waiting), so i probably wouldn’t say that. i’ll have to work up to it :)

so to all of you who have expectations for their holidays (…or husbands, or family, or friends, or whatever), just ENJOY the moments as they come. and i’m going to do the same.

remember: when life throws your ornaments, just duck!

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