Sean and I talk all the time about how things seems to get totally crazy when he’s home on the weekend, or when he gets home from work at night. The kids, who all day are good, normal-crazy, get totally wild when he walks in the door. It drives Sean to the edge of insanity and since he’s going to be home for a very long Christmas vacation, I gave him some advice last night to help him make it through the holiday without yelling at the kids. Have no expectations. Many times, he will get an idea, and it will be a great idea, but the boys just aren’t into it and he will take that personally and let his feelings get hurt. Sometimes I do, too, and the best thing to do is, when making a suggestion to the boys, don’t have an expectation that they’ll want to do it as much as you want to. For instance, he’s had a hard time this year getting beyond the fact that they are not into all the old Christmas specials on ABC Family: Rudolph, SC is Coming to Town, etc. Ryan still likes them a little but Iain would rather watch Pokemon Christmas or something like it. Sean gets really upset because he wants to watch the old specials and snuggle up on the sofa with the boys. We talked about it last night and he realizes that he can’t have expectations like that. What’s important and nostalgic for us has no meaning to them. Why can’t we watch Pokemon Christmas and snuggle together and then later, Sean and I can watch the older specials together? I still don’t like, “It’s a Wonderful Life” and there are plenty of oter things than my parents can wax on poetically about and I just could care less. It’s no slight against them, it just doesn’t interest me.
The point is, we are just going to concentrate on being together and not worry about doing all the Christmasey things we think we “Should” do. This year we’re not going to Sean’s mother’s house for Christmas Eve and we’re not planning to do anything big deal that night. It’s hard because we certainly feel a little isolationist by spending Christmas Eve on our own but at the same time, Christmas Eves in the past have been hectic, hurried, and unpleasant, trying to get through dinner, open gifts there, load the car up with the gifts, come home and unload the gifts, get the kids calm enough to go to bed, and then spend the rest of the night setting up their Christmas gifts. We love seeing our family but it was just too crazy for us to go through all of that. When I was growing up, our grandparents came to our house for Christmas when they could and that just makes more sense to me. They don’t have all the loot to haul back that we do! 🙂 Plus, we’ve spent Christmas Eve there every year since 1996, except for one, and we’d like to start our own traditions with our kids.
I’m really looking forward to this Christmas holiday. Sean is going to be home for so many days, the boys are finally old enough to “get” Christmas and they’re exchanging gifts with each other for the first time which is going to be really fun. We asked Ryan what he wanted the most from Santa and he said,”I just want a Merry Christmas,” completely without guile, he really meant it and it just melted this momma’s heart. He and Iain say things like that all the time and I feel really blessed to have these utterly sweet boys in my life. I thank the powers that be that I am allowed to have them at home with me so I can witness the magic of their childhood. It has been an incredible year.
What do you do for the holidays? Whatever it is, and I hope you’ll leave me a comment telling me all about it, I send my most sincere wish that it will be joyful. I’ll post again before Christmas but just want to say Happy Holidays to everyone!