Ahhhh, the magical feeling of the holidays. A time where all you want to do is snuggle up with your loved ones under your perfect Christmas tree and count down the days till Christmas morning. Also, in this fantasy I am wearing a gorgeous Christmas sweater, size 6 jeans, and have two children who hug and love each other and say things like "please" and "thank you." Not to mention my tree is freshly cut from the forest looking more like a Pottery Barn ad than an artificial Home Depot pine decorated with glued macaroni and picture-less frame ornaments. I like to call these visions my “Santa pipe dreams.”
Did I just kill your candy cane boner? Sorry, but let's be honest here, Christmas in our heads is nothing like Christmas in reality. The movie, Bad Mom's Christmas said it best, "Moms don't ENJOY this time of year, we GIVE joy." With that said, nothing and I mean NOTHING will take away my love for the birth of Jesus Christ, see I remember the true meaning. I revert back to a young child, excited to give presents and spend time with the ones I love (or think I do), and pray on every star for a snow covered white Christmas.
Here are a few perfect examples of how much a mother's Christmas fantasies differ from our realities.
Decorating the House
Fantasy: "Kids, gather around, it's time to decorate the tree!" "Hunny, enjoy hanging the Christmas lights and placing our beautiful white wicker collection!" With a smile larger than life, I am in my glory! I couldn't wait for Thanksgiving to be over so I could get out those 25 giant dusty tubs from the garage without judgment. My husband does a hell of a job making the outside of our house look like a wonderland and on the inside the children and I sip on eggnog and hang ornaments with care. Once dad is done outside, we finish up the tree as a family and watch as he tops the magnificently lit masterpiece with a gorgeous Christmas star.
Reality: "If you drop one more ornament, no joke, you're dead," has been said at least 10 times by yours truly. How hard is it to listen? Do you want a ball-less tree? My husband is outside doing God knows what, but Christmas lights have been replaced by projectors and plastic Snowmen have been swapped out for inflatables, which by the way look like giant garbage bags strewn across the front lawn during the day. How long can it take to hammer in a few stakes? Not to mention, tomorrow I will go out there and move things around anyway because I have OCD and of course put out the secretly purchased additions that I swore to him last year I wouldn't buy, but did anyway. There is no way I could resist the 4 foot Santa mailbox that was on sale at Home Goods last February, I mean it would be unsmart if I didn't buy it. Yes, unsmart is now a word. Anyways, inside the house, there is glass and glitter all over the floor, the kids are on the couch watching their iPads because although they couldn't wait to decorate they were bored in 10 minutes. Finally, when it is time to place the star, I have to break up a WWE fight between the two children because obviously whoever I choose I must love more. Duh! So instead, my husband and I try to keep our balance on a chair and stool while we each hold a child as they both hold the star and place it in the worst spot possible, all while trying not to kill ourselves or them. Perhaps it wouldn't be as difficult if I hadn't of spiked the eggnog once my kids gave up on me. Whatever.
Fantasy: With my perfect wrapping paper, sharp scissor, and perfect gifts, what is there NOT to love about wrapping Christmas presents. The kids are asleep, I have plenty of time, and while I listen to Frank Sinatra perfectly belt out Jingle Bells, I sip on my wine and wrap each gift with a smile.
Reality: I'm exhausted. It's 11 p.m. at night, my kids wore the crap out of me, and there is 2 days left until Christmas. I ran out of wine obviously due to the 17 holiday parties I attended so now I am drinking some canned margarita left over from July. Not to mention my wrapping paper sucks! I knew I shouldn't have went to the dollar store and where oh where is my effing scissor? I literally just had it and now it's gone. OK, found it. Now where the eff is the tape? For the love of baby Jesus's birthday, I don't have time for this! Forget it, I'm using a gift bag and taking all the joy out of opening presents!
Fantasy: Just as my mother did when I was a child, I make my children wait in my bedroom until the music is on, fire is lit, and coffee is brewing. I can hear the children's excitement as I open the door and video their faces as the magic of Christmas takes over their face. Piles of gifts and over stuffed stockings flood the living room. We all sit down together and take turns opening our most perfect presents thanking each other and Santa of course with glee and appreciation. After all is done, we sit around and enjoy the one morning a year we so patiently awaited.
Reality: It's 5 a.m. and I feel the pounding of little fists on my head. "Go back to bed, it's too early,” I scream! We didn't get home until 11 last night and by the time we set everything up it was closer to 2 a.m. Three hours of sleep, OK, I can do this. I put on the music, pop in my k-cup, and light up my remote control fireplace. The kids are screaming, "Please can we come out, pleasseeee," and while I would say yes by now, I have to stall them even more because my husband is taking his usual morning ride on the potty express. Nothing says Christmas like a poop delay. Before I can even snap a pic, the gifts are opened and then I hear the most dreaded sentence of all, "I want more presents!" What in the holy hell did my kid just say? He must be sleep deprived because the new Xbox he is holding in his hands cost as much as a small pony. Before I know it I am cleaning up all the paper, making breakfast, and preheating the oven for a full day of cooking and cleaning. MERRY FREAKING CHRISTMAS!
Fantasy: A week off of waking up at 7 a.m. A week off of getting the kids ready and out the door in freezing cold weather. A week of no packed snacks and lunches. A week where they will obviously keep themselves busy with all the new amazing toys they got for Christmas. I mean, I don't even think there is enough time in the week off for them to enjoy all the stuff they got! I have plans to see my friends for my own mommy Christmas party which will include yummy drinks, fantastic dancing, and the sharing of Christmas morning memories.
Reality: Day 2 of Christmas break and the kids are bored. That's right, THEY ARE BORED. I look at them with such disappointment and scream, "How can you be bored, it looks like freaking Toys R Us in here!" They reply with, "Oh mommy, can we go to Toys R Us, pleassseeeeeeeee!?" Shit, now look what I did. Even though it's only noon, I run away to open a bottle of wine or else I may do something I regret. Of course, they have been up since 6 a.m. because why would they sleep late on their week off, I mean that would just be stupid. To top it off the plans I had with my mom friends for over a month have been cancelled because 3 out of 5 of them have kids who are puking and pooping simultaneously. Oh and did I mention how fat I got? Seriously, I could win an award for most pounds gained in shortest time. Hands down, this is one of the longest weeks of a mom's life.