Friday, December 21, 2012

The real meaning of Christmas

My mind has been a swirl of thoughts these last several days and although I am up to my eyeballs in Christmas and birthday preparations, I think I will go mad if I don't put down on paper these stirrings that keep me up at night.  Our family has been a whirlwind of sick this month.  First Cameron had a stomach bug after we came home from Great Wolf Lodge, and then a bit later, he and Gavin both got fevers that waxed and waned and soon enough little Mason joined the roller coaster.  Jeremy got a bad cold at the same time and I all the while remained stalwart and strong, caring for my troops.  I was sad that we could not do all of the planned activities we had this month, but at least I was well.  And then I wasn't.  I thought I was just getting the cold that Jeremy had been hanging on to, but then I got the fever and stomach bug as well.  For nearly a week I've been battling my own illness while my kids and husband are healthy as can be now and want to be out Christmasing about.  It has been dreadful and I have felt guilty for not being able to pack in all the Christmas Spirit that we usually do.  One night, when I was feeling terrible, we went out to get our annual  ornaments with the kids at Hallmark so at least I could cross that off my list.  The boys were unruly and they wouldn't make up their minds and I unravelled.  We left with two random ornaments two of the three boys just grabbed and one boy with no ornament at all.  I cried in the car because things were not working perfectly.  It was pathetic.

Last Friday hit me like a slap in the face.  I was on my way to work when I heard the report on the radio about the shootings in Connecticut.  All night we checked in for the latest news, horrified by the updates.  Six teachers.  Twenty children.  The next day, the list with the kids ages came out and I looked at all of the sixes and sevens next to their names.  It was overwhelming and in the back of my mind I thought, that could've been my Gavin in his first grade class.  What on earth would I do if it were his little bed down the hall that was empty?  Somehow I don't think he would care if we didn't end up getting ornaments at all this year.  He wouldn't mind if we didn't bake as many cookies as we normally do or make a gingerbread house.  I have snuggled these babies of mine so close these last few days and just been with them.  I was letting the stress of it all ruin the whole reason we do these activities together.  So some things may not get done this year, and I'm finally ok with that.  I just want to be with them, telling them how much I love them.  THAT is what Christmas is all about.  I know this Christmas will be more meaningful to me now that I have the right perspective.  Here is a particularly touching tribute to those that died that will bring tears for sure.

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