Lately I have felt a yearning for a “Hallmark” Christmas. You know the kind that does not exist. The romantic image of multi-generations waking up on Christmas morning in the same house with the house beautifully decorated and perfectly wrapped presents under the Christmas tree. The family lazily gathers in the kitchen for lattes and we all settle in front of the tree, all with happy, content faces. There is not a blurry eye in the group. Even mom and dad, who stayed up until 3am filling stockings and putting toys together are bright eyed and bushy tailed! Not to mention – none of the children are cranky – not even the two-week-old who was up half the night with an ear infection. Yes, I have been awake on Christmas Eve til 3am “making Christmas” for the family and yes, I had a two week old for Christmas one year, the only difference was, it was me with the ear infection, not her!
“Hallmark Christmas” does not really exist. That is why they call it “Hallmark.” I would go out on a limb to suggest that when the house does look perfect, there was probably some relational damage done to pull it all off. Think overspending (yep, guilty of this), spending time shopping, decorating, etc. instead of with family (guilty!) And doing it all alone because no one else can do it quite as well as I can (hard to admit, but this is especially true!). (Think Bad Mom 2 if you find it hard to believe that others have this issue besides you and me!). Maybe I am pessimistic, but I don’t think that this “Hallmark” Christmas exists, or if it does, for only the very few (please let me know if you are one of them, I would like to hear about it!) So, if you are one who is on the eternal hunt for such romance – think about what it is you really want or need that is worth putting the time and energy into getting.
I figured this out while walking through the winter wonderland of Crate and Barrel yesterday. I realized that I didn’t want the perfect Christmas. Instead I was yearning for reconnection with a part of my family that I have not put the time into being connected with.
Whew! Even though reconnecting takes more time and effort than decorating my house for Christmas, it is also more in-line with my values and this confirms that I am not as shallow as I thought! I can see now, perfect tree placement is not going to do it. A new expresso machine for lattes is not going to do it. But humbling myself, asking for connection, and investing my time and energy in it will bring about joy and peace this Christmas for me, whether I spend Christmas with them or not! What is important is being in right relationship and emotionally connected – no matter where I find myself phsically located.
So, when it comes to my Christmas checklist this year, at the top will be
- Spend quality time with important people in my life!