Every year I have these dreams about how Christmas is going to go. We'll wake up; my husband and I will sip on coffee, while we watch our beautiful children come down the steps of the stairs to see the stockings hung; there will be laughter and giggles as they each take items out of their stockings excitedly; they will be sweet and kind and just lovely. Maybe they'll be a fire crackling in the background. Maybe the kids will want to snuggle up with us as I serve them my homemade cinnamon rolls and they'll all say separately, "Wow! Mama these are so yummy. Thank you for staying up late to make these for us." Ha.
I won't list out the events of the morning; instead I'll let you use your imagination. Just picture the dream above and then change every single thing about it. Ha!
My Christmas photos all capture the joy and excitement of Christmas morning. But what they don't capture are the sibling fights. They don't capture the meltdown Connor had because Isabella got more gifts in her stocking than him. They don't capture the tears that spilled all over Aiden's shirt as he realized he was done opening presents and his siblings still had more to open. They don't capture the pure exhaustion my husband felt as he had spent the night awake, blowing his nose with a 101 degree fever. Of course, part of me doesn't want to remember those things. And the other part? The other part wants to hold onto all of those memories because those are the ones that make my family real. Those are the things that mean my kids are really here. I know some of you have been readers for a while and know what I'm about to say, but I'll say it again. I've lost a child. I know what it is to wish for a chance. I know what it is to wish for tantrums and crying.
And so even though next year I'll again go to bed Christmas Eve praying for the dream of a crackling fire, small sips of warm coffee with my husband, giggling fits over the perfect candy that Santa picked out, warm buttery cinnamon rolls that aren't too hot, but are perfectly toasty, a bunch of sibling hugs, and magical "thank you's" and "mommy you are the best"s...Today...Today I am just thankful for another Christmas with the people I love most in the world. Because that matters more than the perfect dream. That matters more than the unattainable perfect family.
This year for me was the year of practical gifts and I loved it! The gift that wins the award of most use, though, is the one my husband got me and I adore it! My new keurig 2.0 is a life saver. No one should have to go through life with three small children, without coffee. I love that each year my Christmas list resembles that of someone I never thought I'd be. Shhhhh. Don't tell anyone, but I'm getting old. (I'm fairly certain I let out an audible giggle when I opened my toaster!). It's sad, really.
While my husband may not have let out audible giggles over my toaster, he DID get exceptionally excited about his gas can mounts and cans for offroading. I'm 100% certain his Christmas list looks EXACTLY like it did 10 years ago.
In fact, his list probably resembles the Christmas list from when he was a kid too. The toys may be slightly different, albeit more expensive versions of the toys he wanted at 10-years-old, but they're still toys.
We were wonderfully blessed, not only in gifts, but more importantly, in friendships, laughter, family, and time spent together.
It may not have been the exact Christmas I dreamed of, but it was certainly one I'm so thankful for.