It’s Christmas Mama!

christmas kid ax

Ah, Christmas! ‘Tis the season of over-stimulation, too many presents, and too much food.  Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas. I love real Christmas. A spiritual holiday celebrating the birth of baby Jesus in a manger, which brings families together to enjoy each others’ company and the general love and good cheer that is shared as a result of this celebration.  That’s the Christmas I love. The warm, fuzzy, cuddling with my family over the holidays.  Quiet,snuggly reading time by a fire. It’s a time for reflection on our faith, or maybe on our goals and dreams for a new year. Maybe it’s a time to remember loved ones who are missing at the table.  Or to invite a lonely neighbor over for a meal and good cheer. For all of the resentful disdain I feel for Halloween, I feel the opposite for Christmas.  Not shiny, loud,sparkly, sales-at-the-mall Christmas. Real Christmas.  Preferably a snowy Christmas.

But it’s really an upsy-downsy time for everyone, but especially kids.  Even more so for kids with ADHD/ADD.  It’s a time when all routine is thrown out the door. School turns into party-central.  There is sugar (in various forms) EVERYWHERE. Santa is in every store ringing his bell and shouting Merry Christmas in my children’s faces.   Just when I have convinced them that it is AGES until the big day, someone asks them a question like this:

“ARE YOU EXCITED ABOUT CHRISTMAS?  DO YOU THINK SANTA IS LOADING HIS SLEIGH YET???…..”

Thanks for the help pardner.

My kids hit a whole new level of “crazy” by about December 10th. So, yesterday.  This year it happened while we were frantically trying to get the majority of the tree decorated before hockey practice.  This was a major planning error on my part. But I had a panic attack when I realized it was already December 10th and our tree was sitting out on the back porch, like a forest displacee.

So, not realizing that “crazy” had officially kicked in, I thought we’d “throw” some decorations on the tree, and then head to the rink.  Then I remembered I also needed to cook supper at the same time.  So I made another awesome decision, which was to leave my twin 6-year-olds under the loving care of their 8-year-old brother to decorate the tree on their own, while I went to the kitchen.

I left clear instructions.  Ornaments stay on the table.  Pick up one at a time.  Big ones on the lower branches.  Small ones up top.  ONE AT A TIME. For about 1.5 minutes, it was like a scene from a Norman Rockwell  painting.  And then it happened.

A little bit of screaming

Some running, accompanied by screaming.

Dog barking.

More screaming.

As I came around the corner,  my “least agile” son was running around the sofa with an open box FULL of decorations, his older brother hot on his tail, screaming something about ONE AT A TIME!!!!!!

Then, the sound of (many) glass Christmas bulbs crashing to the ground.

Followed by screaming….this time me.

As I lifted the (80-pound) dog and two bare-footed boys out of the “crash-zone”, all I could think was:

Ah. Christmas.  We are making memories.  Oh yah.  Memories.

The tree didn’t get decorated before hockey.  Supper was delayed.  We were late for hockey.  I pulled a muscle in my neck from yelling, or maybe from carrying the dog, or possibly it was the vigorous vacuming-while-yelling at my sons about “treating special things with care”.

Sad really…yelling at my children to “treat special things with care”.  I should have listened to my own advice last night.

Those glass Christmas ornaments aren’t special.  They are nice.  They are pretty.  The were pricey.  They had value.  But they aren’t special. Ornaments,  Santas,  lights, presents, cookies, ribbons, candy-canes,rushing,buying, fancy food, parties.  You see, even me, with my disdain for consumerism, plastic, and (lord help me) ELF ON THE SHELF…even I get caught up in the frenzy. I forget to focus on the true meaning of this season, and to treat my “special things”, my truly special things, with love and care.

The hearts of little ones are as fragile as those glass bulbs.  And much more precious.

None of the other stuff matters.  Christmas, stripped of all that crap, is what matters.  So, if you are like me, and your tree is only half-decorated,  and you refuse to buy an ELF-ON-THE-SHELF (**shudder**), and you haven’t plastered your home in 5,000 strands of lights, it’s OK.  That stuff is fun, and I suppose even the dreaded ELF-ON -THE-SHELF is creepily entertaining to some.  But that’s not Christmas.

Humanity.  Relationships. Generous giving.  Remembering what is truly special on this earth and in our souls. And placing LOVE above all else.   Now THAT is Christmas.

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