For the last few years, I've managed to keep the Christmas bitch at bay. For the first few years of Umberto's life, I was super anal about Christmas. Everything HAD to be perfect. When anything went wrong, I went a little nuts complete with yelling and tears. I was way manic usually rushing around, buying, wrapping, decorating. I spent hours obsessively trying to figure out what present would make the biggest impact. I remember on Camille's first Christmas, H and I up until three a. m. building a train table for Umberto. I was so frustrated because I had to keep nursing Camille which interrupted my ability to help on the table. As the early morning crept up on us, H and I were snapping at each other more and more. Camille kept waking up and finally I was sobbing. We went to bed with the table half built. Umberto had no clue what we were working on and I felt like the whole moment was ruined.
Of course looking back, it was silly to get caught up in the moment. The bigger picture shows a train table that was well loved through three children. It finally fall apart (literally) when Piper was about three. That's a lot of moments.
Each year I got a bit better about letting go of the crazed woman who possessed me at the beginning of December. She was so bent on creating perfect Christmases that she kept missing out on the bigger pictures. On the years of memories being built out of decorating the tree, making cookies, laying around in pjs surrounded by wrapping paper and laughter. She was too busy trying to repair the past by fixing the present. And then one day, after another moment in tears because something didn't go perfect, I realized that I was ruining Christmas by trying so hard to make it right. And I let it go.
Not that we don't do Christmas. We do. We all love Christmas. We love Santa (and yes I do believe). We love telling the Christmas story as well as other Yule stories about the season. We love the tree looking all crooked and gaudy from the love of the beasties. We love wrapping gifts and making cookies. We love our silly stories that are turning into tradition. And it's okay that it's not always pretty because in the end it is always perfect.