In media you will start to see movies, pictures and advertisements on what the perfect Christmas should look like. Today I am going to be quite frank to you I avoid them because they are a reminder of what doesn’t happen in my house. Some years I am lucky to even get a Christmas dinner and other years we are grabbing food as we are making the dash to our children’s hospital.
Christmas changed for us with the arrival of Lilly. In the last eight years since she graced us with her presence we have hit the local Children’s Hospital Emergency Room six of those years on either New Year’s Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year Eve or New Year’s Day. That means she has a twenty percent rate of staying out of the ER during the holiday season. This year to could possible go up to thirty percent rate fingers crossed.
If you sit back and think about it those numbers are mind numbing but also it changed how we look at Christmas. Most people see Christmas get together as fun things to do but I see them as germ infested, sensory meltdown triggers, and exhausting. A few years ago Christmas I was about to become a Grinch and I didn’t even know it until The Hubby said something.
That’s when I stepped back and took a hard look at myself. I also asked myself some really tough questions. What does Christmas mean to me? What memories do I want to create? What can I do to make things easier? What am I missing?
That is when I decided to start doing Christmas intentionally. Make Christmas doable no matter what is happening in our life during the Christmas season. As I looked at my journaling notes I noticed a common theme; having fun as a family while celebrating Jesus. What we eat, drink, what kind of presents we open didn’t even make the list. Today I am sharing what does matter to us to make Christmas Memories.
Jesus Birthday In the age that most people are taking out Jesus out of Christmas we like to keep him in it being Christians. What I found is we can’t make most traditional ways people celebrate like Christmas Concerts, banquets and Christmas Eve service. The years we can are great but the years we can’t there’s a huge hole. We now throw Jesus a birthday party on Christmas Day and yes we even have cake! Theirs decorations and Jesus present is us giving others presents.
Good Food It doesn’t matter if it’s a Turkey Dinner with the trimmings or a simple frozen lasagna dinner as long as it’s not eating a bun on the run. I now keep a variety of food on hand that’s easy to make in a dash or we go to my parents for Turkey Dinner. All that matters is at some point during the holidays we are able to have a good meal together as a family.
Hanging Out I would love to be able to spend Christmas with everyone but realistically we just can`t. (You know the stats) Now we make Christmas and New Year’s about family time with the four of us. Rather it`s watching movies, playing outside, or riding horses it`s all about family time without devices. It also makes us really appreciate the Christmas we are able to join extended family.
Christmas time with sick kids can be very tough. Sometimes you see the ER staff more than your own family and that is okay. The thing is that you also need to be making happy memories during these times. Join me next week when I talk about how I make this happen.