Once upon a time, long, long ago, I had Christmas nailed.
December played out a bit like a Martha Stewart magazine, organized, poised and picture-perfect. I loved it. On the first weekend in December, our freshly cut Christmas tree was brought into the house, Christmas music played as lights and ornaments were carefully placed on the tree. The second weekend of December was devoted to making Christmas gifts for family and friends both near and far. The third weekend of December (typically just before Christmas) was reserved for parties and final errands. Seeing people rushing around in a panic seemed unnecessary. But, this was a long time ago before kids.
The first few years with kids, I tried, I really tried to just add kids into the mix and keep everything else humming. I longed for the perfect Christmas vision I had manifested in my mind. I dreamt of festive clothing, kiddos eagerly awaiting impromptu seasonal outings, and a hiatus on chores for the month. My reality could not have been further from my vision.
I have come a long way since those early years with kids, my expectations of myself and my kids are much more reasonable. I haven't let go of everything, instead I have prioritized those elements that bring me the most joy each season.
For simplicity (or sanity, depending upon how you look at it), I have compiled these priorities into a Christmas Bucket List.
While my Christmas season wouldn't impress Martha Stewart, it is filled with joy and every bit as magical as a fairytale.