Carrying three sleeping , sugar coma filled children to bed with only four arms was interesting. All muscle movements of their legs have gone to mush after the days events. Traveling to what seemed like 34 different places all packed into two, we had three exhausted kids, and two thankful ( tired ) parents at the end of Christmas this year.
I walked back into the room where the gifts were opened this morning. A slew of presents sprawled across the floor with no rhyme or reason as to who’s they were. It became a ball pit of wrapping paper, laughter, and some tears were shed for the first time on Christmas in our house. Sad ones.
Contemplating on whether I should clean up tonight, or let tomorrow’s Rachel have it, ( she always gets mad at me )… I sat there for a moment to reflect on the birth of Christ. Then it hit me.
When you become parents, Christmas isn’t about you anymore. Sure you can still give and receive gifts, but your main goal becomes making it special for them. Laying down what you really want, and replacing it with what the children would want. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE giving our children great gifts. I LOVE seeing their faces as they unwrap the thing they asked for all year. Nothing makes my heart more happy than going to bed on Christmas Eve, knowing the next day will be magical for my babies.
I love all those things. I love the wonder in their eyes, and the anticipation holding their last gift, wondering what it could be.
I love all those things, but Christmas is hard.
There I said it. If no one else will, I will.
It’s hard taking the kids from place to place, with no naps. No real meals. (At least not my kids. They graze at family gatherings ). The toddler that had been up from 6:30 am – to pushing 10 pm. The newness of everything, the lack of sharing going on. The no more gum ( you just ate an entire roll while I was fixing you broccoli. ). The million times you tell them to say thank you to Aunt Melissa and Grandma Jane for the socks they got again this year.
” Just smile and be polite. No matter what the gift is. Use your manners. Say thank you.”
And repeat that phrase again and again until I am certain they are hard of hearing and I am blue in the face from lack of oxygen and wine.
By mid day you swear to yourself that next year you will simply stay home and people can come visit you, and give you foot rubs as their gift to you. But with your massive family, you would see no one and eventually Christmas would be like a normal Tuesday.
Then you calm down some, and realize it’s time to go to the next place. Just like you did last year. And you’re thankful for family close by.
You’re thankful, and you’re certain that if could lay across the kitchen table next to your Aunts deviled eggs, you could fall asleep and slip into egg land where there are unlimited unfertilized chicken eggs you get to eat, and fertilized ones with tiny baby chicks you can snuggle.
It’s my dream ok.
Being a parent is similar to what Jesus did for us. No where near as important, but its an easy analogy for us.
He sacrificed his life to come live with us on earth, die and rise again. He wasn’t thinking about himself growing up, or on the cross that day. Everything He did was for his children present, and to come.
Though I wish I could say that everything I do for my children is completely un-selfish ,but I would be lying. But look at the example of a Father that we have in Him.
He’s the best gift giver , and every gift has meaning behind it. He’s thought long and hard about the gifts he gives you, both material and spiritual. He knows every single inch of you, and still he loves you. Still, He gives you the desires of your heart when you follow his leading.
This morning while our children were opening gifts, I was already tired from years before. From a toddler being up at 3 Am for an hour long potty break. Having to awake to give them their good gifts, I was still exhausted.
I know now, sitting here , allowing Him to remind me again that Christmas is all about Him being completely selfless, that I can do this again next year. I can be tired for a day. ( LOL ). I can enjoy my children’s light up faces again.
What’s one day right? He gave me eternity. Thank you Jesus for coming to save us!