Christmas is a magical time. It doesn’t matter how you look at it, there is always going to be something that sparks a memory from when you were a child. And for most of us, we think of that time fondly.
As an adult, I’ve gotten wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Get the perfect gift for everyone? Check. Wrap said gifts, in the perfect Martha Stewart perfection? Check. Pick the perfect music for Christmas dinner? Check. Make the perfect Christmas dinner? Check. Check. Check. Check.
There’s too many ‘perfect’ boxes to be checked.
Last year, A was just a baby, just shy of 8 months. She wasn’t crawling yet. But she did really love to watch the Christmas tree lights turned on and off. We definitely rocked out to some hardcore Bing Crosby Christmas carols. I may have introduced her to the many delicious Christmas cookies that are available at the ready this time of year, too.
This year though, she is into everything. When we first put our tree up, I actually contemplated taking it back down. The amount of “NO!’s” being thrown from both mine and C’s mouths was staggering in the hundreds. Daily.
But instead of the frustration of her “ruining” my perfect tree, I’m letting it go. This is a year of discovery for her. It’s excitement in the twinkling lights, the shiny balls, the pretty (and dainty) glass icicles.
She’s discovering, she’s learning. She’s filled with wonder at all these pretty things. Things that she has never seen before. Well, she has, but she doesn’t remember.
Our house is a war zone. All the time. Toys are everywhere. Often she digs out all of my pots and pans and scatters them in a maze pattern throughout my kitchen. There are juice stains on my couch and snot on my sleeve. We have a toddler. Self explanatory.
Yeah, it’s obnoxious around here most days, but really, WHO CARES?
I did. But do my friends with toddlers care? No. Will any seasoned mom who comes to visit during December care? Probably not. The only one who cares about everything being perfect was me.
But this year, and in the coming years, Christmas needs to be what A wants it to be. It needs to be filled with excitement and new things. She needs to be able to look back with fond memories and when she sees something at Christmastime as an adult, I hope it sparks a memory for her. Not a memory of a mom who wouldn’t let her explore and touch everything. But a mom who says, “Go! Look! Touch!”
There might be a few broken ornaments this year. But they’re replaceable. These few short years of careless childhood can never be replaced. And for that, I’m thankful God has given me this gift. The gift of cultivating wonder in a young child who He entrusted me to raise. And a gift of His son who was born on this holiday, solely to die for my sins. The ones I commit on a daily basis. The ones of trying to be ‘too perfect’ instead of teaching my daughter.