The holidays are such a magical time in a child’s life. This year, Kolton turned 3 and so I wanted his Christmas to be perfect. This put a lot of pressure on me since it would be our first Christmas waking up at our home and my husband really had not been able to take any time off for the holidays to help out. With Shayne only six months old and still consuming so much of my time, and what feels like a hundred people to shop for, the holiday stress was really getting to me.
I tired my best to plan everything in advance, and even ordered Kolton’s big present on Dec. 1st, which was said to “arrive by Christmas” in bold letters on their website. On Dec 18th, his gift still hadn’t arrived. I was getting worried and called the company to find out what was going on. They told me that it should be there soon but they did not know for sure since there was still no tracking number, but they would call me the next day. I never received a call so I called again. I was told the same thing for several days and was given no apologies or explanations. By the 22nd, I was panicking. They then told me that just because it says “will arrive by Christmas”, this does not mean it is a guarantee. I can either wait and keep my fingers crossed, or cancel the order. If I were to just cancel, what was I supposed to do next? My son’s big Christmas gift was never going to come. I was so overwhelmed with emotions and frustration that I could barely handle it. I still had some last minute gifts to buy, so many presents to wrap, and now I was going to have to deal with the one thing that I saw as a guarantee. On top of the day to day stuff with Kolton out of preschool and a six month old baby to care for. I was beyond overwhelmed and stressed out.
On December 22nd, I made the decision to cancel the order and find an alternative. I could not believe it when I found a site called YoYo.com that had a similar item that could be overnighted to me for NO SHIPPING FEE! Of course I was a little skeptical after my last incident with online ordering, but I figured what did I have to lose at this point. The item came the very next day! I was beyond relieved! Christmas was SAVED!
After all of that stress was over, I realized how ridiculous I had been. Christmas would not have been ruined if Kolton’s gift had not arrived on time. In fact, if anything were to ruin Christmas, it would have been me and my need for perfection. Those last few days before Christmas should have been spent enjoying my kids and my family, instead of making frantic phone call after frantic phone call, and obsessing over a present.
When Kolton woke up on Christmas morning, of course he was more than thrilled with all of the new toys under the Christmas tree, but more than that, he was so happy to have Mommy, Daddy, and his baby sister spending the morning together laughing and playing. His day was more than magical, and one that he will never forget!
He taught me so much this year and I am looking forward to using these lessons when preparing for Christmas next year:
- Do not get a Christmas tree early! This will only give him more time to destroy it. Also, only buy non-breakable ornaments until he is old enough to control his need to throw them.
- Bribery can be a very useful tool and does not make me a bad mom. Telling our kids that if they are good, they will get presents from Santa is no different than offering them a few Skittles for an adorable picture under the Christmas tree with their baby sister.
- Ask for help when needed. The month of December can be overwhelming and I should not feel guilty having a little extra help. This is important when Christmas shopping at the busy malls especially.
- Drive around to see every Christmas light possible! This was probably the highlight of the holiday season for Kolton. His eyes would light up and he would say, “WOW Mama! It’s Santa and Rudolph and Snowman and Doggy…” It was seriously the most adorable thing I have ever seen and heard. Sometimes even under his breathe I would hear a very quiet, “wow!”
- Do not wait until Christmas Eve to build the extravagant toys. Build them ahead of time and find a good hiding place to store them. Christmas Eve is also a time to spend with family, not for stressing out about toys.
- Take A LOT of videos and invest in a tripod so no one is stuck holding the camera! These are the memories we will look back at for the rest of our lives!
- Dedicate as much time as possible to enjoying him! This is the cutest age when it comes to most holidays. Everything is so new and exciting. By next year he will be looking forward to this. This year he had no idea what it all meant until it was all over.
This is my short list for Christmas past. I am sure next year will bring a whole new list of surprises!
I sure do love this age he is at, even though it is probably also the toughest one yet. He is so smart and fun and loves me more than I could imagine. I am so lucky and do not want to take a single day for granted with him. This does not mean that I don’t need the occasional break to decompress. I know that sometimes, time away will actually make me a better Mommy.