Hello my name is Sharon and I am a Holiday Stress- aholic! And this would be where you my readers reply back… “Hello Sharon!” I admit it… even though I have written several articles about how to not be stressed out during the holidays, have done hours and hours of research on the subject, I can’t help it. As soon as the tree goes up and the mountain of boxes of decorations come out, something happens. Perhaps it is because in all reality this Christmas stuff is fairly new to me? After all I was raised Jewish and until I got together with my hubby I never had a Christmas tree and all its glory. I love decorating and there is no better time than Christmas to do just that.
But it is more than just hanging the stockings and stringing the tree with lights that gets to me. The cost of trying to celebrate BOTH holidays so my children have a sense of both their Jewish and Catholic heritage certainly adds to my anxiety. But the main reason I get upset, is I have this unrealistic idea of how things should be in my head. Years of watching corny Hallmark movies where everyone in the family looks happy in their matching Christmas sweaters and together they sing Jingle Bells around the piano while watching the lights on their tree that has perfectly wrapped presents stacked up to heaven underneath it as they drink their warm apple cider are forever in grained in my memory of how things are supposed to be!
And then there is reality- A fake tree because my daughter’s asthma is so bad this year that there was no way we could bring NATURE inside the house. No presents yet underneath the tree because I am still denying the fact that the only thing on my boy’s wish list are LEGO sets that cost a gazillion dollars each plus an arm and a leg. The Holiday cards that I was so proud to have made up in the beginning of November still sit unaddressed on my desk… mocking me! And to top it off we somehow lost my favorite Holiday DVD , “Polar Express” when we moved over the summer because I cannot find it anywhere! SIGH Yet still I try, really I do try to stay in the holiday spirits and to remember the real meaning of the holidays and what is important… but some days…
Saturday was one of those days where everything got to me. And it happened while at TARGET! Now I know what you are thinking, why in the world would I drag both kids with me to Target on a Saturday to begin with, that alone is stressful. You are so right… but I had no choice as I needed Jay to try on dress shirts and Grace dress shoes for my husband’s Christmas party next week. (Ahhh… you are starting to see where this going aren’t you!) The kids asked if they could go to the video game department and since Jay has a phone now I said yes as long as they stayed together. I figured this way I could go and shop by myself and figure out what would work and then the kids would just need to try it on instead of dragging them from aisle to aisle and hear their whining , “Are we done yet?” over and over. It was working to. I was even able to grab some of those LEGO sets that were on sale for only half a gazillion dollars while they weren’t looking. It was all going well until check out.
I really am not sure what happened but when Grace asked for the pack of gum (NO) and then the Tic Tacs (NO) and then the chocolate bar (NO) and of course the bottle of water because she was dying of thirst… well I snapped. Literally! I became one of those crazy ladies we all have seen and try our best to not stare at! I was sure that the cashier was ready to call protective services on me. And the more mad I got the more guilty I was about being mad which made me more upset. Then Jay got upset because I was yelling which of course made me even more upset because I realized I totally set him off.
We paid for our stuff rushed out of store and behind the wheel of the car I broke out in tears which really set the kids off even more. Jay kept saying how bad he was and how they did not mean to be ungrateful kids. Grace said how she did not want any presents this year all she wanted was for me to finish her baby scrapbook which I started oh I don’t know … 9 years ago and never finished and which obviously I found out at that time was a very sensitive subject to her. That of course made me feel even worse. I was the number one member in the BAD MOMMY CLUB! I couldn’t even talk really. I just drove home so ashamed of myself. Ashamed of the outburst, ashamed for setting my boy off, ashamed I never finished that stupid book!
By the time we got home I was much more calm. After putting everything way I called both kids down and we talked. I told them how sorry I was for overreacting but that guess what… even moms were not perfect. To which both my kids were so kind to point out that they already knew! Thanks guys! LOL Jay told me that he was upset because seeing me being so hard on myself was really sad. Of course I jumped all over that one and said I know that feeling because that is how I feel when he does it. He got quiet and then asked, “Mom did you plan all this just to help me learn this point?” Okay I desperately wanted to say yes… you know move me up a couple of notches in his WOW MY MOM IS SNEAKY AND SMART eyes… but alas I told the truth! Just call me stinking George Washington!
Anyway the rest of the weekend did pick up from there. (Of course I don’t think it could go much lower!) Santa came through our neighborhood yesterday and was AWESOME! The kids swear he was the Real deal! Then I took Grace to see the Nutcracker with a bunch of girls from her Girl Scout troop. It was magical to say the least! And the best part… my hubby returned finally from his very very very long trip! YEAH!
Yes it was emotional weekend, but in the end we all learned something. Now if you excuse me… I have a scrapbook to work on! SIGH