Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Moms Know Christmas

Whew! Throwing Christmas is tiring. Do you know what I mean by that, "throwing Christmas"? It's like throwing a party, only it extends from Thanksgiving through New Year's. It's all the stuff moms are usually--or often--in charge of: planning, shopping for, and cooking the holiday dinners; baking the cookies and other holiday treats; planning, buying, wrapping, and shipping the gifts; decorating the house and the tree; hanging the stockings; ordering, writing, signing, addressing, and mailing the cards; planning and procuring the children's holiday/church outfits and shoes; organizing various fun holiday family activities (holiday carol concerts, ice skating, sledding, visits to Santa, etc.); hosting guests for parties, dinners, and/or overnight stays.

The list goes on and on, but--honest!--I'm not complaining. Generally speaking, I love the holidays, and I'm usually glad to put in the time and work to make them memorable.

Well, OK, true: it's been a little hit or miss since the babies came along. When Julia was six months old, I basically sat at my parents' house and nursed. When she was a year and a half, we had no Christmas; I packed up an entire house with her at my knees the whole time, listened to my sister-in-law (who does not read this blog) throw an insane and hours-long tantrum about not getting enough attention during our move (and yes, I do still hold a grudge), and moved my family two days after Christmas while four weeks pregnant with Genevieve. (It was the Worst Christmas Ever, although finding out on Christmas Day that I was pregnant with Genevieve was certainly a welcome comfort.)

The following Christmas, Genevieve was four months old, and I spend the holiday half-assedly (sorry, Mom and Dad! cringe. I was so tired!) throwing a 40th-anniversary party for my parents and camping out at their house for TEN DAYS with a toddler and a newborn, spending most of my time nursing. Again.

The year Julia was three and Genevieve one, I admittedly was still very, very tired, and I strove to make Christmas as small and simple as possible while not quite skipping it completely.

So there was all that.

But! Last year and this year have been great! I've thrown great Christmases! I've baked and decorated and sung carols and hung stockings and lit candles and driven around gazing at Christmas lights with my daughters. I've done holiday kid crafts and attended family parties. I've cooked big dinners. It's been fun. I've loved every minute.

But seriously, it's tiring. And I don't know about you, but I react to tiredness by skipping planned evening exercise, watching cable TV, and eating Cheetos. Or cheesecake. Or fudge. Perhaps all three. Then January comes and I get sick of the lethargy and sugar, and embrace things like five-mile winter runs and diets and writing projects. It all evens out in the end.

For now, though, I'm resting. And eating. Resting and eating. See you in January.

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