‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, the only one stirring was me – not my spouse…
I just caught myself becoming frustrated. On Christmas Eve.
I’m sitting in my parents’ living room – finally – after spending the last 2 hours tending to those last-minute details that can only be done Christmas Eve. Wrapping stocking stuffers for the girls, last minute gifts for Jay and my brother, sprinkling reindeer food outside the front door, leaving cookies and milk for Santa. And of course, bedtime procedures – teeth brushed, Christmas pajamas on, stories read, daughters tucked in.
I’ve enjoyed every minute of it, honestly. I never do things because I feel like I “have” to or because I feel outside pressure to have the “perfect” Christmas. I do them because I love it. All the little details make me happy. It’s totally worth the effort to put Christmas cookies on a Christmas plate and pour milk into a Christmas mug for Santa, knowing the smiles on my girls’ faces when they see the crumbs and in the morning and know that Santa was there. I like using Santa paper on the gifts he sends. I love empty stockings when they go to bed Christmas Eve and stockings overflowing with goodies Christmas morning. I’ll admit, I don’t care about reindeer food (Emily made some at her Girl Scout party), but it was fun to toss it around the yard with the girls.
The thing is, as I was doing all this, Jay was playing a video game with my dad and my brother. And although they needed my help locating something in the game (meaning I got to play for a minute – I love Lego City), I pretty much did everything else on my own. And I was truly okay with this, until Jay walked into the bathroom as I was brushing the girls’ teeth and asks what he can do to help.
Immediately something clicked. I felt an instant need to point out to him that I’d already done it all, including making Christmas memories with the girls without him. WHAT??? I have no idea where that even came from. I hadn’t been annoyed, bothered, upset, or even mildly irritated at him for not helping. But in that moment my exhaustion took over my rational thought, and all I could think about was how much sooner I could have been sitting and relaxing if he’d been helping me. I could see he felt guilty, and sure enough once I finished putting the girls to bed I came out and saw that my stocking had been filled as well as theirs.
I love my husband. SO much. That’s all that matters. That’s what I need to focus on. Especially on Christmas Eve, a time to reflect on all the goodness God has placed in my life, not the places where I feel it’s falling short. Jay is more of a blessing in my life than a hindrance, and I need to be sure that he knows that. I need to be sure he feels more like he’s loved and less like he’s a burden. I need to stay calm and focus on what’s important.
So instead of letting myself act on my frustrations, I took a deep breath and reminded myself that I love the best and the worst of my husband. Then I ate all of Santa’s cookies.
Merry Christmas, everyone!