I love Christmas.
All the traditions, the fun of gift-giving, the sweetness of innocent little eyes, the moments where the world seems to breath in unison in awe and wonder at the eternal gift of the Savior.
Flickering candlelight services, dropping change in red buckets, shopping lists, cookie bake offs, the crowds, and amazon boxes piled at the front door (because who has time to stand in line?)
Every year, I imagine that this will be the year when December will move more slowly. We will do all of our traditions, but it will be a waltz instead of a sprint to finish. Every year, I have the highest hopes, but each December when school calls off for break, the clock goes into overtime and it feels like we barely squeeze everything in before Christmas Eve.
I know we should move slower, lean into the moment, seize the day, and all of that, but it just seems impossible.
I snapped this photo the other day as my middle girls stood in line with their “babies” to get their “coffee”. My heart turned over as I looked at them, my beauties, standing there chatting away, coffee in one hand, doll in the other. The few handfuls of moments that I have with them are fleeting indeed. One day in the not-so-far-away, my girls will be real mamas juggling babies and life and traditions all their own. They will feel squeezed too as they create childhood magic and build love into their own families. They will need to learn to rest and breath and take it all in.
As I look back on our chaotic December, I know it was busy, but it was beautiful. When I accept that “crazy” simply is a part of our traditions, especially for this season in our parenting when everything is loud and messy, I find that I can “rest” even when we are moving quickly.
Rest looks like laughing at the messy, delighting in the noise, lowering my standard of “clean” during Christmas break to allow for games, puzzles, make-believe, and fun without homework. And when school starts again and schedules make life less crazy, hopefully I’ll remember that resting, and finding delight in the now, is more important than checking off all those boxes, matching up socks, and always having a clean kitchen.
Because one day, my Christmas traditions, my New Year resolutions, and my every day chaos will be much quieter. I’ll be holding coffee in one hand and a book in the other, without a baby on my hip.
These days are fleeting indeed.
Lean in and learn to rest in the middle of the crazy!