Imperfect Christmas
Imperfect Christmas

Our family mayhem while opening gifts

According to the unattainable standards of all lifestyle magazines, my Christmas holidays were absolutely imperfect! I was just browsing social media to see whether I was alone, and of course, I’m not. I read a friend’s post on Facebook where she asked whether or not it was okay to take down the tree and wrap up Christmas on December 26. After the holiday I had, I can understand how she feels.

A few days before Christmas, I was feeling really guilty about editing and posting articles on Mamiverse on how to do your Christmas shopping on time, deal with holiday stress and look stunning at holiday parties. My guilt stemmed from the fact that I was unsuccessful at all of the above this year, and I felt like a phony.

As of December 27, one of the gifts for the kiddos has still not arrived (I will save it for Reyes Magos). My paper Christmas cards, which I special ordered, are still sitting on a counter somewhere, and I’m starting to think I should just give up on signing, addressing, stamping and mailing them. They were not cheap, but time is money … and I have little free time. Maybe I can send them next year? Or maybe I should keep them as a reminder to just send e-cards from now on.

This year I decided I really wanted the kiddos to be excited about our house being all lit up, and not looking dark and scary next to the holiday lights extravaganza the neighbors had set up. So I bought Christmas lights, and had my sweetie stand precariously on a ladder while I gave him directions to set them up per-fect-ly! Then, not content with his doings, I stood precariously on the ladder myself and fixed them to look a bit better. Of course the very day my sister and her hubby arrived for the holidays, the whole string of lights came undone and have been hanging by a thread ever since. So we still look like that scary, possibly abandoned house where angels fear to tread! I have not gotten back on a shaky ladder to fix them, and I probably won’t get back on the ladder until it’s time to take them down. Sometime in March, right? If I have time.

Read Related: The Tradition Behind Three Kings’ Day

Imperfect Christmas 2

My 9-year old, excited because Santa brought the hat I would´t get her!

I had told my sister in law that the gift she suggested for my little one was fine, and when she received it, my kiddo looked at her auntie and said: “Thank you! (pause) Again?!” As in, she had received the same gift last year. Yikes. What kind of a mom doesn’t remember what her children received last year for Christmas?!?

The day we were all prepping to travel four hours to Miami to our Latin Nochebuena party with the family, my stepson got sick, the kind of sick where a kid vomits and has diarrhea at the same time. In the middle of the living room. By midnight he was fine, but then the bug must have traveled into my eldest’s system on Christmas Day. So she spent Christmas night (after the four hour drive back from Miami) sick as a dog, with me on all fours in the bathroom cleaning up after her. Not a pretty sight. But if you’re a mom, I’m sure you can relate.

I did not have time to go to the hairdresser or have my nails done so I could look and feel fresh and elegantly decked out in my holiday apparel. No time to curl my hair, shave my legs or have a great beauty sleep or “me time” to destress before the big day.

Then there were the meltdowns: my youngest, 9, freaked out when her auntie dared touch the Elf on the Shelf, because “now she won’t be able to fly to Santa to tell him how good I’ve beeeeeeen!” (Um, wait, she’s yelling that and being a brat about the whole thing! Does that qualify as being good? And, isn’t she just a bit too old for meltdowns?)

I confess, I HAD to do a little regifting number, because there was no time or money to run out last minute for that person I forgot about, because I was too busy trying to remembering everyone else.

I did not cook the desserts we were asked to take to the Nochebuena party … we bought them ready-made and they certainly weren’t Martha Stewart pretty.

Oh well. But in the end, it was all good:

My 9-year old still believes in Santa (yes, I’m one of those old-fashioned lie-to-your-kids-about-Santa moms), and the three kids claim this was the I spent time with loved ones and aside from some much appreciated material gifts, I got the best gift of all: the gift of gratitude.

I’m grateful that this year I did not have to accept charity for my kiddos as I have in the past. I’m grateful that I have my health. I’m grateful that I can help others. And I’m especially grateful for being able to write all this down and know that it may help someone, somewhere, realize that an imperfect holiday is perhaps the best kind. These are after all, First World problems.

Now, how was your Christmas?