Now that the boys are out of toddlerhood, I’ve been trying to teach them about the true meaning of Christmas — but it turns out I’m the one who could use a lesson or two.
I tell them about Christ’s birth and how a baby changed the world. We talk about being grateful and generous in His honor. Marcello and I try hard to keep the main focus off presents and instead make it about spending time together doing fun Christmasy things. We’ve had hot cocoa treats, gone to see Christmas lights, mailed cards, decorated the tree. In all honesty, sometimes these things were very fun — and sometimes they were not. At all. Or started off well and ended in time outs or tears.
What I am learning this holiday season, with God’s ever so patient help, is I need to take a Christmas chill pill.
I’m learning that it’s ok that our tree has no ornaments on the bottom because of baby sticky fingers and the lights are clustered to one side and falling down. I finally let it go that our tree is going to look mangled if I let three and four year olds help me. At least no one has knocked it down. Yet. The cat and Clara have come close, and Luca threatens to reenact the scene from Elf when Will Ferrell jumps to the top of the tree to put the star on. It makes me laugh … in a nervous kind of way.
Our little artificial tree on the back patio is put together all wrong and the long branches are on top and the short ones on the bottom. At first it was bothering me every time I looked at it, and now it makes me smile because I think of Adriano handing Luca the branches, Luca putting them in, and me spreading them out. It was sweet.
The boys loved stuffing the Christmas cards in envelopes and putting the return labels and stamps on all crooked and barely in the right spots. I was cool with this until they were carrying them to the mail box and Luca dropped all of his in dirt because he had an itch on his back.
We had a good time with our handprint Christmas tree pillow until they were fighting about who got to go first and who got what color. They managed to pull through and we had a good laugh about Clara getting green paint everywhere even though she was just doing one little handprint.
But that’s our life. It’s not perfect, but it is full of love and joy. I’m learning let go a little and enjoy the crazy ride.
Wishing you a warm Christmas full of love, joy and blessings.