Friday, December 11, 2009

Embracing the Christmas Chaos

I have noticed that my life is typically all or nothing. Everything tends to either be organized and healthy or completely and utterly chaotic. Unfortunately, the chaos has taken over recently. With my full time schedule, my husband's new job, our 3 boys playing basketball (one on two teams) all with practices and games in different places at different times and a 2 year old thrown in there (oh, and a new cat - which of course was my crazy idea), there isn't much free time or order in our lives. My house is a mess (which couldn't be worse since I am a neat freak), my dishes are dirty in the sink (because my dishwasher is clean but no one is volunteering to empty it), my clean laundry remains in baskets (now a mess from everyone trying to find their clothes) and I am too tired at the end of the day to do anything about it. And all of this chaos spills over into how we eat. I can't tell you the last time I cooked a healthy, well-balanced meal. Family dinners are important in my house, but lately they have all but vanished. Typically we are scrambling to make sure the kids get something in them before basketball practice and unfortunately it ends up being fast food or pizza. In fact, I think I actually ate Oreos for dinner last night.

Of course, all of this is compounded by the fact that we are 14 days away from Christmas. My list of to-dos has more than doubled with remembering everyone I need to remember, shopping, wrapping, parties, who and how much to tip...I keep hearing that I should take some time to slow down and just enjoy the season. Seriously? On a slow day in March I might find 2 seconds to breath, but sorry, December is totally booked. I have been thinking recently, that I would like to do something festive with my kids to help celebrate my favorite time of the year. I am starting to think that that is also a losing battle. My nine year old was so excited to help me decorate the tree but lost interest in about 3 minutes. I tried to suggest caroling but the response was less than enthusiastic. So I guess I will have to settle for the Christmas music they play at the mall while I am fighting the crowds and the heat (cause when its 20 degrees outside, somehow they figure that 85 degrees is optimal shopping weather).

I know the moral is that life is just crazy and you should try to embrace the chaos. If you are anything like me that is asking a lot. I had about 20 minutes of bliss yesterday before my family got home. The house was clean and picked up, I had a candle lit filling the house with cozy, holiday scents and I was wearing my slippers drinking a warm cup of coffee. And then everyone came home. I do love having my family home, I guess I just wished they like neatness as much as me. Oh well, I can't wish the holidays away or for my children to grow up because I really do cherish every day with them. I guess I will take a deep breath and count my blessings and hug my kids, even if they say "aw mom!"

Here's to a chaotic, memory-filled holiday season! When you feel like you have had enough, remember how blessed you are and hug your kids even if the house is a mess.