I love Christmas.
Only Fall and Football season are as close to the top of my list of favorite times of the year.
And this Christmas we had a lot to celebrate...
Ryan's first Christmas, Jake finished up his classes and will be student teaching in the Spring, Rachel is growing up and turning into a little lady.
I made cookies (even more than last year); we put up additional decorations so the house looks extra special; Jake and I went on our annual Christmas shopping spree together; Rachel asked almost every single day if it was Christmas yet.
For some reason, this year my heart just wasn't into it.
Maybe it was because we missed church almost every Sunday during Advent due to sickness and schedule conflicts and didn't make it to the Christmas Eve service this year (again) because Ryan wasn't feeling well.
Or, maybe it was because we are all tired from months of sleep deprivation and the stress of raising a newborn and an extremely independent/willful two-year-old who refuses to eat or do anything that isn't her idea.
Perhaps it was because in the weeks leading up to Christmas I made a fairly sizable mistake at work- one that caused me to toss and turn and fret and stew for over two weeks before I finally picked up the phone and sobbed out an apology to one of my superiors. But not before being stabbed in the back by a co-worker/friend, which kind of ruined things at work for a few days.
I guess it could have been because I didn't send out Christmas cards or letters this year or because we missed more than one Christmas party that I was looking forward to attending.
The cherry on top of the disappointment was probably how we spent Christmas morning... while everyone else was opening presents and enjoying each other's company we were struggling with Rachel and her refusal to apologize to her daddy, which she had to do before presents could be opened (long story). So, instead of rushing downstairs to open presents in wondrous excitement, Rachel insisted on reading a book while Jake and I watched TV for almost an hour before she finally broke down and agreed to apologize. That kid...not even the prospect of opening presents is reward enough to do something that she does not want to do.
Whatever the reason(s)...I would like a do-over.
I would like another opportunity to teach my children about the real reason for Christmas.
I would like another opportunity to listen to quality Christmas music and feel the excitement of the season in my soul.
I would like another opportunity to take a family Christmas picture that doesn't involve crying or naked dolls.
I would like another opportunity to drive around and look at Christmas lights without getting lost and ending up on the other side of town.
I would like another opportunity to snuggle with my baby boy in his Christmas PJs instead of feeling anxious about guessing whether or not he will sleep for more than 60 minutes at a time.
I would like another opportunity to get my little girl to eat more than just a few bites of bread at both Christmas dinners (why, oh WHY, won't that child EAT?!).
Basically, I would just like to do this whole thing over so in the spirit of being a true Cubs fan (and, apparently a Hawks fan) I will quote my favorite motto....
There is always next year.