For moms, Christmas can be a lot. A lot of planning, a lot of shopping, a lot of baking/cleaning/wrapping/mailing/merry making and for many of us, a lot of worrying.
At this time of year, a dozen or so years ago, I worried about the dreaded Santa ask switcheroo that preschoolers are known to pull at the last minute.
I feared that my preschooler would decide that she no longer wanted a princess dress and opt for something else. If I wasn’t on my toes and able to anticipate any last minute needs, would the jolly old elf’s jig be up?
Could I maintain the magic?
A few years later, I worried that the doll from the Island of Misfit Toys in Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer would not arrive in time.
My daughter very specifically requested that one doll from Santa. It was no longer manufactured and hadn’t been for many years. After a large number of hours searching and even larger amount of money, I was able to procure the hoped-for doll from Ebay. What if she didn’t land on our doorstep in time and it was all for naught?
I was also concerned that my little girl’s tender heart would be hurt – the one that wanted to make sure that the doll was well-loved to make up for the sadness she had seen on screen.
Shipping issues aside, how would I teach her to stay sweet yet be tough in the face of the cruelty sometimes found in this world?
Not many Christmases later, I worried about crafting the sheep costume for the Christmas pageant.
My daughter was to be a sheep in the “Christmas Eve Spectacular starring Jesus,” as a friend had dubbed the production.
I had been told a costume would be provided. At the last minute, I found out that there were no sheep costumes. I would need to make one. On very short notice.
I was at the end of my single parent holiday rope.
I had a meltdown. Then I got to work gluing cotton balls. I confess that I stapled makeshift ears to a winter hat already in our closet. It wasn’t pretty, but she deemed it passable. My fears of her being rejects, or her scalp being injured were not realized. She escaped unscathed.
She looked adorable sitting on the steps of the altar with Sheepie, the small stuffed animal she has loved since babyhood, while the two shepherds behind her hit each other with their staffs.
Then I worried about telling her the truth abut Santa.
I feared both my girl finding out and what possible damage I was doing by not coming clean. It seemed she vacillated in her stance, skeptical one moment, fervent believer the next. Trust is so valuable, and I didn’t want to damage it.
Making her a part of the magic of giving would be great, of course, but also different from the story that had brought us both much joy.
Today, all of those worries have faded. And I miss them.
There’s the saying that if everyone threw their worries into a circle, you’d want your own back. That’s certainly true for me. I was privileged to have those worries, and this child, who is not so child-like these days. Now there are worries about finals and winter driving and college decisions.
For now, I’m hoping to learn from Christmases past and put the worries aside. My goal is to stay focused on Christmas present. It may have its own worries, but it also presents its own delights. I wouldn’t trade those – the best of all gifts – for anything.
Prior Post: Christmas Scavenger Hunt Clues – 2019 edition
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