Motherhood has been kicking my butt lately. I wanted this ‘job’ of mothering so badly that I worked for years to get here. And now I need sleep. I used to think that my parents were going gray because they were getting old. But I really think it has something to do with not sleeping!
I mean, every US President goes gray in office. And I hear they hardly ever sleep with their hectic schedules. That’s my theory anyway. The crazy thing is that as our children are growing up, we are growing old. If I could alter that, I so would, because I don’t feel a day older.
I was at the store tonight and overheard two adorable twenty-something girls chatting about buying a Christmas Tree. I remember that time in my life. It doesn’t seem very long ago. There was a lot of uncertainty in my heart at that time. But standing on the other side, looking back, I realize I was doing a lot better than I gave myself credit for. So were these darling girls at the store.
We struck up a conversation, and their hearts were so similar to mine that we could have been best friends if I’d been at the same place in my life. Instead, we shared a fun few minutes and I learned something awesome. We are all doing better than we give ourselves credit for.
With the holidays coming I often catch myself trying to “over perfect” my life. I want to cook the perfect Thanksgiving turkey. I want to find the perfect gifts for Christmas. I want to decorate the perfect Christmas tree. And I want to keep the house clean while living a busy life with a small child and a husband who is a lot better at looking cute than picking up after himself.
And even though I know my desires are good ones, focusing on them to the point that I give myself a nervous breakdown and yell at everyone in sight is not a recipe for a happy holiday season.
So why are we trying to cram so much into such a short time? I mean, I have an idea. I LOVE shopping for Christmas. I love being in the stores when the decorations come out. I love imagining the holiday I’m going to create with my family. I’m not deterred one bit by those naysayers who complain that Christmas music begins on the radio the day after Thanksgiving.
People who complain that Thanksgiving needs to be an isolated holiday don’t understand the real meaning of Christmas. I think the two holidays can merge seamlessly because Christmas is about how grateful we are to have a Savior. It’s about being grateful for the loved ones in our lives and being grateful for all our blessings.
Christmas is a chance to take that gratitude and put it into action. We remember the life and birth of the Savior of the World. Then we go out and serve and bless our families and friends with our increased loving feelings.
Thus my plan is to space out the stress by beginning it all earlier. (That sounded better in my head.) Fortunately, the local stores seemed to anticipate my problem. This year they started having Christmas decorations and crafts in select areas of their stores in mid-August. So I’m looking forward to having my own personal two month Thanksgiving–Christmas time.
Patty thrives on all things creative. You’ll often find her in the garden pretending she is a suburban farmer. She loves meeting new people, and is devoted to her friends and family. In her heart she is a Midwesterner even though life has moved her all over the country. She believes in “blooming where you’re planted” and has found purpose in every place she has been. She has a deep and abiding love for the Savior and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And she loves editing LDS Blogs because it is a constant spiritual uplift. Not many people can say their job builds their witness of the Savior.