Journal Entry #73
I’ve pushed too hard.
It’s Boxing Day, and I can barely get out of bed. I got up and prepared my dish for the Myers’/Mark Family Pot Luck Christmas this afternoon, but I don’t know if I will make it there. Currently, I am in bed, journaling in between naps. I just can’t get up.
The last couple of days have been great! We hosted my family on Christmas Eve. A lovely afternoon of games and gifts and food. Just 9 of us, but we did all the traditional things that we have done since I was a kid. Every year, we read the Night Before Christmas and the ones that read it get to sign and date the book. It goes back all the way to the early 1980’s. This year Canyon and Avary read it together. I am happy to report that my brother no longer tortures me on Christmas and has instead transferred it to Canyon. He likes to wrap his gifts with tuff duck tape, zip ties, packing tape, duct tape, extra layers and basically anything he can find that prevents one from opening a gift. The struggle is real. And funny…now that it isn’t me!
I kept the meal easy because a full turkey dinner is an awful lot of work and I know I need to conserve my energy where I can. Instead, I asked the kids what their favorite foods were and mashed together a meal of their favorites. Faith wanted mashed potatoes, Edie wanted carrots, Avary wanted Caesar Salad and Canyon wanted apple pie. I did a roast and Grandma made cupcakes for Jesus’ birthday. Easy-peasy. Not your traditional Christmas meal, but there was something for everyone to enjoy.
Christmas Day was quiet – we had our Santa’s Breakfast and stayed in our jammies all day. Tim, the kids and I drew names for stockings this year and as we opened them we had to guess who stuffed them. It made the morning fun and the kids were excited to be a Santa themselves this year.
Last January, Faith asked if we could go out for a hot chocolate because she had something important to talk about. There, at Tim Hortons, she posed the dreaded question “Is Santa real?” She explained that other kids in her class had said that he wasn’t real, that it was “just” the parents, and she wanted to know if I had been lying to her? So, I explained that the truth comes with a responsibility. I told her I was happy to answer the question honestly, but I would only do that if she felt that she was ready to accept the responsibility that comes with the truth. At first, she said no. Then after a few minutes, she changed her mind accepting the challenge. So, she asked the question again, “Mommy, is Santa real?” And I answered.
Her eyes bugged out of her head in disbelief. And then I framed it to her this way:
The Santa that soars the skies on Christmas with flying reindeer, is a wonderful image for children to imagine. But the truth is, Santa represents the spirit of giving, without getting found out. That’s where the magic lies. I told her that soon I would be 40 years old, and there has never NOT been a present under the tree for me. I never know who puts it there…it could be Daddy, or Grandma, or a friend, or Uncle Bill, or Grandpa…the spirit of giving is about giving – not for the thanks, but giving simply because it feels good to do so. To make someone smile, to feel loved and to bring them joy. And it is fun to sneak around, planning and preparing to surprise someone you love on Christmas morning. So, the energy of Santa is very much real, and lives in our hearts, and now that you know the truth, you are now a Santa too. Which means that you can never tell the secret, or spoil the truth for another child. It means that you have the responsibility of giving and not getting found out…and keeping the magic of Christmas alive.
She immediately began strategizing for how she will be Santa this year. Then guessing at who gave her what last Christmas – and even though I knew who the Santa was that gave her specific things, I left her guessing. And she was okay with that.
And yet a part of me was sad…its the end of an era in this household.
I spent a lot of time wondering what Christmas would be like for us this year. I worried that the wonder and excitement wouldn’t be there. But, I was pleasantly surprised.
There was so much excitement. And plotting. And planning. And executing. And sneaking around. They were right into it.
Which makes me so happy!
I think I have just had too many long, busy, tiring, and exciting days in a row and my body is just screaming for a down day. Tim too, isn’t feeling well with his meds and both kids are fighting colds today. We’ve decided to stay home, have a quiet night and not go to the Family Boxing Day. There is a part of me that feels guilty for not going, but I simply cannot get up and moving. It is 3:30 and I am still in bed.
I have to listen to my body. Not just when I want to (like I used to do), but all the time. I guess I am still learning how to do that. I’ll tell you this much: last year I survived…next year, I am going to thrive!
Some may call this the Christmas Hangover…but for me, there was no alcohol involved. Just a body that is still healing, a mind that is clearing and a spirit that is mending.