The holidays this year were surprising to me. I’ve always been one to love Christmas. I love shopping, wrapping pretty gifts with bows, making homemade bread and cinnamon rolls to give as gifts and trimming the tree with lights shining in all the right spots highlighting the ornaments we bought while traveling in Europe.
Yeah. That didn’t happen.
The gifts had bows, but they never made it under our tree. I made a box of instant dessert bread and called it good. I didn’t even put up my nice ornaments. Yes, I chickened out. I went to Target and bought three packs of shatterproof (challenge accepted!) ornaments for a grand total of $12. It’s a good thing, too, because in a moment of unsupervised curiosity, my little guy (now aged 2) took the ornaments off the tree and put them in a neat pile on the floor. Then he took the light bulbs out of several strings of lights and put those in a neat pile on the floor, too. So I came home one day to a dark, naked tree and a kid who was very proud of his organization skills. We were a bit concerned when we couldn’t find one light bulb and thought we’d have to go digging around in dirty diapers when it appeared under the tree skirt. So, crisis averted. For now.
Our friends and family were incredibly generous with the gifts. We didn’t get many matchy-matchy gifts, but the ones we did get were doubles for a very good reason. There would have been World War MCMXXLII (we’ve gone WAY beyond single-digit wars at our house) if only one kid received a bus, or a Thomas the Train. Gifts even went beyond the boy/girl barrier. My little guy got a baby doll and my little girl got several cars and her own Thomas. I like that.
But I have to say, I’m glad it’s over for now. I’m sure as they get older it’ll will seem less chaotic. It’s tough enough being a full-time working mom. Then you add all the added fun of Christmas to that and it gets overwhelming.
I’m looking at it this way: I have more than 300 days to prepare for this year. Bring it on.
—Rebecca Calappi, Publications Coordinator at Beaumont Health System and adoptive parent of multiples