Bossy Christmas

Bossy Christmas December 22, 2011

I have been really silent here at What She Said. I get really quiet when I’m wrestling.

Major indicator you need an attitude adjustment: Your six-year-old son asks, “Mama, why don’t you like Christmas?” Oh, my. Is it that obvious? I suppose if you are short with answers, too busy to play, and constantly asking, “Now, where did I put my coffee?” a sharp boy will notice.


Having children has forced my Christmas wrestling to a new level. And this year my schedule doesn’t permit time for Christmas. You heard me, there is no room. No room. Pun absolutely intended. Stay-at-home moms should have time for Christmas hoopla, right?

We brought our third child home from Russia six months ago. He is the biological sibling to my first son. We are still in survival mode. Physical therapy, occupational therapy, developmental therapy, and soon speech therapy. Every week. (More on adoption later. You know, when I can write about my kids without boo-hooing all over my laptop.)  In order for Christmas to get calendar time here, I’ve had to give up either the laundry, or the cooking, or the breathing. Now, the cleaning…that was quite easy to give up. Perhaps I’ll corral the dust bunnies in January.

Santa has pushed me up against the socially appropriate wall, people. It seems everything about Christmas that really doesn’t matter gets done, and all that is important will never happen. I’ve wrestled big ole bossy-pants Christmas down to some level of simplicity, much to the chagrin of my children. They understand why each year they each have three gifts under the tree. But they don’t understand why Mama’s eyes aren’t sparkly with anticipation for every ballet class Christmas party and home school tutorial beanie baby exchange.

Are you amused or overwhelmed by all of the blogs vomiting up ideas for how to turn your Christmas into a more “meaningful” time of celebrating? Is it just me? Blogs about simplifying while giving more to-dos. You are cracking me up, crazy blogging super-moms. I don’t want more to-dos, even if they are about Jesus, Advent, family, food, decorating, or eggnog. I’m just not seeing God in the holy, socially appropriate to-dos. And I need to see Him. I want to be released from the Christmas busyness. Ugh.

I asked myself, “Mama, what is it you really want here?” Alright, so it sounded more like, “Mama Grinchness, what is your problem?” The answer is harsh. Christmas takes from me the only thing I want: time. I truly want a holiday. A holy day. Time to breathe. Time to play with the children God has so graciously given. In the floor. While laughing like hysterical maniacs. But, you see, I’ll be too busy meal-planning, cooking, taking kids here-and-there, providing down time for all, buying obligatory yet unneeded or unwanted gifts, and creating some kind of “Christmas atmosphere” for my family.

The reality is I am in awe over the baby Jesus. Christmas, not that much. Just give me the baby. And let me give Him to my children. Give me God. And let my children watch me worship Him. I just worshiped all the way to Siberia and back a second time so two brothers could grow up together. Now our family celebrates this God who is His own masterful family artist – our daily work with this sweet son who should be walking and talking is our celebration. I taste Advent as I wait prayerfully and with great hope for words from my son. I wonder at God as I watch my older children give grace and mercy to the little brother who is working so hard to “catch up.” I rely on that baby in the manger through every exhausting day of Christmas. Ironic, no?

I want to join you in your giddy cookie-baking. I long to feel pride over a stuffed calendar. For the sake of looking like a normal American, I would like to take my kids to every stinking holiday activity. I just can’t join you there, friends. Wait, can we still be friends? I want to worship the Creator – not Christmas.  It cannot be both this year. Now, where is my coffee?

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