Christmas went much better than expected this year. There was less bickering, less fighting and definitely less tears. We opened our presents, had a marvelous Christmas breakfast of waffles with blueberries and whip cream along with scrambled eggs and turkey bacon and headed off to "faraway" nana for more presents and Christmas dinner. It was a lovely day only marred by a leak in our bathroom ceiling.
Boxing day was a lovely day of relaxation and Monday was back to the business of sorting and putting away Christmas presents. Fortunately, we cut back our spending this year, not only from a necessity but because our children truly do not need so much. It doesn't make sense to buy them a ton of new toys when I'm constantly getting mad at them for not picking up their old ones.
On top of the two presents Santa brought each of my 3 children, we bought them each a new quilt for their bed and one craft project. Do you know what? The kids never even noticed that there was less this year. I think it's a good thing we cut back now so they get used to it. It's a lot more difficult to make those sorts of changes when they get older and have been used to more.
I don't know why I've had such high expectations in Christmases past. Somewhere down the road of childhood, it had been drilled into me that Christmas was a time of not only good will towards all men but also of good behaviour.
Yet, why I wonder should I expect my children to behave any differently on Christmas Day than any other day of the year? After all, I have vague recollections of mouthing off to my mother and being sent to my room where in my resentment at being smacked, I packed up all my gifts and gave them back to her. I also have one funny memory of singing Deck the Halls only when I was supposed to sing "Tis the Season to be Merry", I sung..Tis the Season to be Horny". Of course I was only like 9 so I had no clue what that word meant but I sure figured out it was a no no fast from my mother's look.
So I swore that this year I would not use vague threats of Santa not coming to get my children to behave. Why turn Santa into the boogeyman? However, when I got pooped out from trying to entertain the little monsters and tired of refereeing for the umpteenth time who sat in who's spot on the couch, I broke down and used Santa's good name in vain.
Still, I wish I could learn to not sweat the small stuff and to some how respond to my children's bickering with a hell of a lot more grace. More than once I've been reduced to a shrieking banshee to get my way. Not a lot unlike my 3 year old.
So if there is one thing I will be asking for in the New Year, it will be an extra measure of peace and a reign on my temper.