Taking down Christmas decorations isn't cathartic and cleansing for me like it is for a lot of people. I love the warmth and peace that a tree brings to our home. I love Christmas decorations that have been passed down from my parents and grandparents or ones that I bought for us years (and several homes) ago gracing our shelves and table tops. I love displaying everyone's holiday cards on our kitchen cabinets. For me, that's part of the magic of the season. The story that our tree tells and the comfort the decorations bring. So when it comes time to take it all down, I start to reflect.
This year we traveled the weekend before Christmas (along with Thanksgiving week and the weekend after Christmas). It was a wonderful trip full of memory making but we came home late on the 23rd. From the moment my feet hit the floor on Christmas Eve it was go, Go, GO!!! We have to make cookies and we have to prepare the meal and we have to cross reference check lists for hidden gifts and see what needs to be put together and oh don't forget we have to make all the memories too. Who's going to read the Night Before Christmas? Can we read it before someone melts down from travel exhaustion? It was a lot.
So as I'm undressing the tree now, I have the sadness I feel every year when I put things away, coupled with the 'did I do enough?'. Did I make enough holiday memories in 2019? Did I savor the moments and enjoy making Christmas lists? Did I use Santa and the Elf as a threat more than I did as a part of the magic? The Elf... was he creative enough this year to buy me one more year for my 9 year old? Did I really remember what the visit with Santa was like this year or was I just checking it off the list? Did I do enough to make sure that I made the season magical for my family or was I too caught up in the stress of it all to really feel it all?
Damn, motherhood is complicated.
Of course I did enough to make the season magical. Or at least I tried. I guess that's what is most important. My kids won't remember what they got (although they won't soon forget the trampoline) when they look back but I sure hope they remember how hard I tried to make it as magical for them as it was for me when I was their age.