It’s Christmas time!!
Time for visits with Santa, sleigh rides, hot cocoa by the fire. Chopping down a Christmas tree, tying it to the roof and singing carols all the way home. Smiling children baking cookies for family members and on the cover of Christmas cards…
… uh. Kinda.
The start of the Christmas season at the Cole house looks a little more like this:
– Bins full of Christmas decorations taking up a giant chunk of our postage stamp sized living room.
– Replacing the fireplace only to find it has missing parts.
– Trying to get a picture of the kids in front of our Christmas tree at the lot and not getting a single one with the kids standing still or looking at the camera.
– Someone yelling “I don’t like this music” in response to the 12 Days of Christmas on the radio.
– A child who is terrified of Santa. TERRIFIED.
– A two year old that needs a nap.
– Someone throwing an absolute fit in the car on the way to see Christmas lights.
– Cutting out sugar cookies and then immediately balling up the dough to do it again.
– A fight over the rolling pin.
– Burning said cookies.
– Nobody is wearing a shirt.
– Don’t even get me started on the photo holiday cards. It’s not happening, folks.
Over the years I’ve found that all my attempts to create a stock photo moment of the holidays tend to fail.
Finally I’ve learned to take it in a different direction. As a family of 6 ( plus 2 dogs and a cat) it’s time I surrender to the Christmas Chaos.
I should have known better, but those stock photos put together and taken with insta-worthy-pinterest-perfection just aren’t real (at least not for us). But you know, I just don’t care.
We’ll still put icing on our burned cookies. There will be cocoa (complete with schnapps). At least one of our 4 kids will sit on Santa’s lap. Eventually, we’ll fix up the fireplace and enjoy an evening by the fire (for a minute or two). The photo Christmas cards are still not happening… but who knows, maybe this year we’ll send out a pack of cards we picked up on our 289th trip to Target.
The holidays, I’ve found, are best served up with a nice helping of reality check and a glass of wine. My kids are making memories whether I have the perfect photo of them or not. If I try to control their fun to make it look picture perfect or hold a perfect pose, I won’t have fun and neither will they. What good is a beautiful photo if everyone is stressed out about it?
Over the years I’ve learned that the holidays are much more fun when you embrace what it is…
The magic of Christmas Chaos.