Monday, December 29, 2014

Surviving Christmas

As a child, I didn't really enjoy holidays too much, but now that I have children, I look forward to all holidays. I love spending holidays with my children to make lasting memories and traditions that I hope they will someday pass on to their children.

Christmas is a huge holiday I love but also dread. I love everything about Christmas and love building memories and traditions with my family. However, as much as I enjoy it, I also dread it. With such a large family, Christmas is pure chaos!! But, I'm happy to say, we all survived another Christmas.

Surviving Christmas
There is so much prepwork that goes into hosting any holiday, but Christmas is even more chaotic because on top of it all, you have to make sure everything is perfect for the kids to keep believing the magic. In addition to all of the cooking, wrapping, and cleaning, there's a great deal of planning and execution that goes into making lasting memories for your children. With my oldest children on the verge of turning 10, I know the magic will be ending soon so I wanted to make it a Christmas to remember to keep the magic in full blown force this year. It was a successful mission.

Of course, Christmas isn't all about Santa and gifts. We take the time to teach the children the true meaning behind the holiday and the importance to giving back. So in addition to everything that needs done in the home, we also find ways to give back, like the Angel Tree, volunteering, and donating.  Although it can add to the level of chaos, it holds important lessons for the kids and aids society.

Then there are the traditions. I love our traditions and each year we add a new one. But, now we have so many that the kids look forward to each year, I often forget one or two. Remembering everything I want to do with the kids during the holidays, finding the time, and ensuring we have all of the supplies we need is another challenge, but I face it with energy as I love the time we will spend together.

After all of the planning, preping, and shopping, Christmas finally comes, which brings it's own level of chaos. The kids are too excited to sleep, so Santa has to wake up bright and early on about 3 hours of sleep. Then the unwrapping, assembling, fighting boxes, tripping over toys, and battery wars begin. The downside to so many children is the fact you're simply outnumbered and only have two hands to get open and assemble all the the new goodies.

And then there is the trash! Mountains and mountains of trash consumes your entire house. Then, the sorting for what can be recycled and what can be reused, while tossing the turkey in the oven, cutting tags off of new clothes, and helping children learn how to use their new toys.

By 11:00 am, I'm ready for a nap. But, then I finally get a minute to sit down to take a break and look around the home at all of the craft projects we've done over the last couple of weeks, all of the time we've spent together as a family, and the looks on my children's faces. Simple and pure happiness. The magic is still alive, and they have more to add to their memory bank and great traditons to pass on to their family. Another successful year in the books.

Despite the stress and chaos, my mission was accomplished. I've made lasting memories for my children and their happiness is worth every second of the madness.

Do you enjoy Christmas? How do you try to make it special for your children? What traditions do you hope they pass on?

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