I know its controversial, but I have a love-hate relationship with the holidays. I adore when my family arrives in town and those few days leading up to Christmas Eve. My favorite moment is when the kids pass out the gifts and we all sit down to open them- I love the anticipation and joy in all the kids eyes.
But with all the excitement I have this problem. I get overwhelmed and resentful. Starting at Halloween I begin to create my lists, organize and schedule. I purchase the gifts, and wrap the gifts. I field hour long guilt ridden phone calls asking why we cannot fly out Christmas day to visit the other half of the family. I force my husband to pull out the decorations and actually put them up (this year our outside lights don't ever come on because he never bought a timer). My relatives send me money to buy gifts for them for my kids - so that leaves me more shopping and wrapping. The checks arrived a week before Christmas this year so I didn't even get to buy some of them. I have to schedule for the School shows, presentations, parent teacher meetings, holiday carnivals, and child-care for the break. Its a lot. Its important to me that the holiday be as special to my kids as it was to me so I can't let anything slide.
Inevitably this leads to some sort of personal melt down. We spend Christmas as my sisters in San Diego. This year I had presents shipped directly to her but this meant I couldn't wrap them until the last minute nor did I know if everything arrived. We were cleaning up from dinner and about to unwrap gifts and I realized I hadn't wrapped 2 things for the girls. I told my husband and got "nice job!". Really? I purchased and wrapped 71 gifts, mailed gifts out to his family and mine - and I get a sarcastic "nice job?" for forgetting to wrap 2 in the mix? He wrapped 5 gifts and he made my children do half of them.
Why isn't there some sort of Mom's post Christmas thank you tradition. A spa day? Even a huge Thank You Banner? Jewelry? Some sort of appreciation?
I had a lovely Christmas - the kids were happy - I got over the "nice job" comment quickly. Then as we are heading out for the drive home my husband comments he's ready for a nap and my mom suggests I drive home which he jumps on. Really? After all that I get to drive home? I put a smile on my face and drove home while everyone snored.