Christmas has always been my favorite holiday. It makes me giddy and buzz with excitement. I have always wanted the movie-like family Christmas experience. My family never had the same desire.
I had images of what would make the perfect holiday:
I wanted to go caroling; we walked around the neighbourhood and looked at the lights.
I wanted to do handmade gifts; I was the only one that made anything.
One year, my mom wrapped all the gifts at the same time and forgot to put names on any of them. We had to open a gift to find out who it was for and then pass it to them. Another year my parents hadn’t bothered putting out any decorations including a tree. Christmas morning I had to bring up there store counter tree to put our gifts under.
This year I realized that because I had my own daughter, I could start doing Christmas the way I wanted. I could make it the perfect vision I’d always held in my head. I started buying decorations, planning traditions, and attending every holiday event I could find.
I was getting out of control and spending way beyond my budget. But how do you avoid buying into the ideals? I was convincing myself that if I didn’t have every item and attend every activity my daughter wouldn’t have the perfect Christmas. In all reality, she’s six months old. She isn’t going to remember one bit of it. But my control fears took over. I can control the materialistic side of things, but I feel out of control as a parent. I don’t know that I’m doing everything right, if she’ll turn out okay, if she’ll love me, or if she’ll look back on her childhood fondly.
I do know that she will always be loved. My family Christmases may not have been the way I pictured, but they were full of love. And love is better than any tradition (can someone just remind me of that the next time I see some \$50 decoration that I tell you will make my Christmas perfect).