It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but also the busiest. Our full schedules can make life seem crazy during Christmas, but today I’d like to challenge you to shift your focus!
A few weeks ago we decided to load up the kids and take them to Bronners – the largest Christmas store in the world located right here in the state of Michigan. Talk about something crazy at Christmas, and I’ll be honest with you guys – I didn’t want to go.
I knew it would be so much work getting all the kids ready along with a newborn, then driving 1.5 hours in the car when Isaiah doesn’t do so well in car seats. I also knew how busy Frankenmuth (where Bronners is located) would be on a Saturday at Christmastime.
I kept thinking about all the negatives and what might go wrong. I even tried to convince my husband the morning that we left why the trip was a bad idea. He kindly reminded me that if I started the day off with a bad attitude, that everything else that day would seem worse than what it was.
I knew he was right, so I shifted my focus and decided that we would have fun no matter what. And guess what? I was right. Bronners was SO crazy. Parking was near impossible, and the line to get into the Christmas store was so long.
But because we purposed to have fun, we truly did. My boys are still talking about that day we spent together at “the BIGGEST Christmas store in the WORLD!!”
My husband and I laugh about it now, and I like to remind him that I was right. But this whole experience reminded me that kids don’t remember the chaos, or the mess, or all the work it takes to create fun memories.
When I think about my own childhood at Christmas time, I don’t remember how messy the kitchen was when Mom made Christmas cookies with us. I don’t remember the glue and glitter all over the table that Mom had to clean up when we finished a Christmas craft.
I only have the sweet memories. My sweet mother haha – she was so patient with us! At Christmas time Mom always had a smile on her face. There was always Christmas music playing and she made the entire season SO special, and that’s what I want for my kids, too.
When my boys ask if we can do a Christmas craft or bake sugar cookies, sometimes my OCD perfectionist personality cringes at the thought of the MESS those activities will make. But I’m always reminding myself that the memories are so much more important.
One of the great things about having a blog and a YouTube channel is the fact that I get so much feedback from older women. Probably the one thing that I hear more than anything else is to treasure every moment. To be present, to cherish this time.
I know that Lord willing one Christmas, many years from now – I’m going to miss the mess and the chaos. I’m going to smile and laugh when I think about how crazy the house felt at Christmas time, trying to wrap presents with four little boys who all want to “help”.
But my attitude and my smile can change everything, and I want my boys to look back at Christmas from their childhood and remember it as truly the most wonderful time of the year.
I want to encourage you mamas – don’t let the mess and the work stop you from making precious memories with your children at Christmas. Sometimes this season can be so busy with so much going on, that we give our children the leftovers. We are burnt out from activities and events, and we don’t feel like baking or sitting down with them to purposely create magical moments.
It’s a lot like family pictures. I think every Mom out there knows and understands the stress that comes with a photo shoot. Getting all the kids ready plus yourself, then hoping everyone is in a good enough mood to capture at least ONE photo. We took these on the windiest day. Isaiah was crying because he needed to nap, and my husband had to meet us right after work so that my sister could snap these before it got too dark.
That means mama got all four boys ready alone – and when daddy arrived he could tell I was overwhelmed to say the least. But out of 65 photos – we got about 4 good ones. That’s a win in my book haha! Yes, it was a lot of work – but I’m so happy we have these now.
This Christmas – give your children more than presents. Give them the gift of PRESENCE. Be with them, laugh with them, get in the kitchen and make a mess with them.
Intentionality oftentimes takes work. It takes time and planning. And it’s so much easier to send the kids to their rooms with devices while you decompress on the couch and scroll through Instagram after a long day of mothering.
But I promise even when it is crazy at Christmas – the hard work pays off. The time you take to make memories with them this Christmas will stay with them forever. And one day, when they have their own kids – they will want to do the same. Because it meant so much that Mom and Dad did it for them.
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