Monday, December 23, 2013

Merriment and meltdowns

It's 2 days till Christmas. We've had a busy time with a rescheduled concert of the girls on Tuesday evening (moved due to a previous snow storm).  Then Chloe's concert on Thursday. 

Friday was the kids' last day of school and all their parties at school. Phoebe's excitement when SANTA came to school and apparently (or so I was told) she followed him all over school-- thus the picture of her with him and no picture of Kat with him.

Saturday our teens in church youth went to church very early to bake cookies then took those cookies and sang to some of the older members of our church while delivering fresh cookies. They were gone all day.

As well on Saturday--the younger girls went for play practice then came home to "chill out."  

Much needed---- you saw the heading of the post?  Yep, lots of merriment and fun--- but also the meltdowns have begun:( 

They began Thursday night. Here's ONE example of a meltdown........

Holiday time. It's a tough blend of fun but also doing "too much." This was during Chloe's concert as a certain someone kicked the seats, put her feet on the seats, refused to sit still, kept bumping Camden-- a SURE FIRE way to "get things going."

Amazes us how she KNOWS what will cause issue and yet she continues to do it.... but then someone is a 10 year GIRL.

And when ANGRY about--- well, pretty much anything and everything at that moment---- then who better to share that feeling with than YOUR WHOLE FAMILY? RIGHT?

Yep, actually it is. Because holiday time is STRESS.  It's overwhelming. And it's why we do our best to try to  keep things as simple as possible for our kiddos, firstly because we want the real reason of the season (JESUS) to come shining through.

Secondly because often times our kiddos do not handle holidays/ special days well. Even older kiddos. (Sometimes especially the older kiddos) 

I've heard one say (more than once) "I don't need anything, don't spend money on me, if you did get anything just take it back. I don't want anything."

Let me translate for you what that means....."It's too hard to behave and I am afraid of being let down so I would rather NOT worry and wonder (and maybe even TRY) to behave for so much time so it's easier to just expect NOTHING."

It's PAINFUL in some ways.  They want it to be ALL ABOUT THEM-- each one of them---- and they know it won't be. The gift giving will include all and someone else "might just" get something they really love Christmas morn and another "might not."  It brings up those nasty competition feeling from EVERY LAST ONE OF THEM.  

The anticipation of wanting something.  This also reminds our teens of "THE BIGGIE."  What's that? 

The biggie of the anticipation........ of WANTING A FAMILY. Of not being CHOSEN. Seeing baby after baby, even toddlers, school age children going to meet their new parents--- parents coming to see the orphanage--- but our teens waiting year after year as their "time" ran out and they lost HOPE day after day of ever getting a family:(

Yep. It does bring them back there. A place we wish to never see them go but........ this season brings them there and their behavior at times can be very much non-gift-giving inspiring:(

So we do a few things to "head this off"--- at least as much as we can.

Simplify.  YEP-- I said it. 

We do some fun stuff, for sure. But we also "opt out" of any craziness of-

Too much shopping
Too much decorating
Worrying that things are "perfect"
Cookie baking (Yes MOM, we do not bake cookies at home)

Dad and I do our best to NOT overload our schedules or leave too much for last minute (Don't mention dad trying to "put holes in doll ears last night" for a certain girl's gift-- note to self-- PAY extra to have done at factory next time)

We do not have an "Elf" on any shelf. It adds too much pressure. Our kids are older and as cute as that idea is (AND I LOVE what I've seen you all doing with those elves-- SO inventive!!) it's just not for us. 

We try to keep the "You better behave or Santa will bring you nothing's" down to barest level. Not going to lie and tell you I haven't been known to say "You are really pushing gift getting for it being so close to Christmas." Because I have uttered that once or twice this year.

The kids end up stressed to "behave" from school, other kids, TV, other adults. That's plenty without us adding in that.

Our shopping is done, wrapping pretty much done. We have enjoyed our kiddos over the weekend and I'm enjoying watching them play Scrabble Junior (an early gift from a friend and a great way to improve spelling).

I made my Winter Trail Mix. It's my Christmas yummy treat, in place of cookies. 

Did it in my BIG dutch oven (3x the recipe) and it takes all of 10 min prep time and 30 min bake time. It's delicious and covers many gifts (teachers, bus drivers, Sunday school teachers, etc.) and the kids love it. I made enough it lasted 4 days! That's rare here.

So what is my gift to all of you this Season of giving?  I wish to give you permission---to have PEACE. 

Peace to skip ANY activities that stress you, your children, that takes too much time, too much effort. That's turned into something no longer "fun or joy filled" but has become a burden.

And let it go....................  

Christmas WILL still come.  And it will STILL be about God sending His Son to us. The babe's birth.  In a manger. Doesn't get more plain than that. No decorations. No cookies. No fancy wrapped boxes.

It will still COME.  Even when pirates represent shepherds. Yep, our Christmas program was so fun-- the girls were pirates due to a "costume mix up" and yet the story still was told. That was the whole theme of our church program.  And WOW, did the girls have FUN being "pirate shepherds."  

Too funny, those "Arghhhhh's"  they were doing-- even Phoebe-- who is visually impaired as it is...... with an eye patch and a sword? 

 We were worried she would hurt herself or someone else---She ended up conking more than one person, but no injuries to anyone---phewwwwww. 

Even the picture is fun-- if you don't smile (She was doing the "Arghhhhhh") then you must be.... well.... SCROOGE. Oh no!  No Scrooge here, please:)

Nope, just lots of peace, joy and our focus where our hearts need to be, the Birth of Our Lord. Jesus. We are so honored to know HIM. To give our children that joy as well. 

The biggest gift any of us ever got-- God sent to us His Son. 

ENJOY celebrating our Savior's birth.   


Rebecca said...

Love! Great post! Phoebe's hair is getting so long! Beautiful kids! Merry Christmas!

Freedom Hollow Farmgirl said...

Sounds like our children's churches did the same Christmas program! Was yours "An Out Of The Box Christmas" or something like that with pirates and cowboys??

We had loads of fun with it.

Hope you and your family have a blessed Christmas!


Vickie said...

Yep, that was it! Very different but lots of fun:)

Anonymous said...

Awesome pirate shepards!