A lot of times as parents, we want to create those perfect “Kodak moment memories” around Christmas time. We envision and dream of the family getting the tree off the Christmas tree farm as it gently snows, while your husband gazes into your eyes, and while your children are looking at you both with love……….We dream of those family pictures (where we all wear the same color for some reason because we think that everyone dressed in red and black will look good 15 years down the road?) and so we can always have the perfect- pictured moment of the holiday season……………. We want Christmas morning to be perfect- we make the kids hot chocolate topped with homemade marshmallows we made together as a family the night before, and each child opens one gift at a time, and we read the Christmas story as we gently sip our coffee…………….. Lets be honest, those would be great pictures. We could make some great memories if things went how we dreamed/imagined the would. It would be almost…perfect.
In reality though, you lost your 4 year old at the Christmas tree farm because he refused to comply with anything you were trying to do, then took off running. You chased him in and out between the rows of Christmas trees for what it seemed like 20 minutes, and now you have made a spectacle out of yourself. A bunch of yuppies that don’t have children yet stare in horror and say “My child will NEVER do that.”, and you find some comfort in those older parents with grown children that give you a look of sympathy because they remember those days.
You get together all matchingly dressed at Portrait Innovations after your kids have complained about what they have to wear and how embarrassing it is. Your older kids are complaining about how this is the stupidest thing ever, and how it is never, and will never be cool to be matched with grandma in front of a staged background adorned with a tree and fake fire place. Inside, you are pretty sure that if the photographer sticks that monkey in your face one more time to make you smile, you are going to mace him in his eyes and then that will give you something to smile about.
And then you finally end your December Kodak moments with Christmas morning, in hopes you can salvage at least one page of your scrap book. There are no homemade marshmallows because your tried it as a family the night before. The kids spilt all of the sugar on the floor while pouring it in the pan as you were yelling at your husband because some how…yes somehow, it was all his fault. You deem Christmas as ruined.
I think sometimes as parents, we need to get a grip on Christmas. We get frustrated because we expect our children to behave perfectly after they’ve been dragged all over God’s green earth during the month of December, and are totally off any schedule they were ever on. We need to remember that all family moments aren’t going to be perfect but that shouldn’t ruin it for you. Yes, naturally we get frustrated, but when you find yourself about to pull your eyelashes out, step back, look at the situation, and find joy in it all. I know its hard sometimes but we need to stop making Christmas something it’s not. It’s not about the stupid pictures, the homemade marshmallows, and the story book Christmas morning. It’s about a mom and a dad…and a baby, that went through the same things we’re going through in December 2012. Don’t you think Mary wanted the perfect Kodak moments for her life? Of course she did. But instead of having the perfect wedding, she was impregnated out of marriage and people didn’t understand…instead of giving birth in a private room with scents of lavendar and spa music playing, she rode huge and pregnant on a donkey for miles and miles, exhausted and worn. Then she gave birth in a cave with animals around her. I mean, does that sound like a perfect moment? No. She could have been all caught up in everything that went wrong, but instead she looked down at her beautiful baby that would suffer for things He did not do, and give His life for those whom He did not know. She knew he would endure pain, and suffering. She knew that life wouldn’t be easy and would be filled with moments she always wanted to be perfect, but may be far from. But she looked past it all, and focused on the Joy she was holding in her arms, and the Joy He would one day bring to the world- Lets be parents and set examples for our children in finding joy in every moment, instead of being selfish children ourselves and pouting every time a moment doesn’t match the coordinating stickers we bought for our scrapbook page.