So it dawned on me that a year ago today as I was making those last minute preparations for Christmas I was also working up my courage to return to work the first Monday after new year's day. With my 2nd son Tommy I had the fortune of being on leave from work during Q4-2009. I think it might have been the first time in my adult life that I haven't had to manage a frenzy of end of year work hand-in-hand with holiday prep. I was actually really enjoying it and was really feeling like a "mom" as I was toting around my near 3 month old, Christmas cards mailed, presents all wrapped and scrapbooking Joey's year 1 and 2 albums in my spare time. I knew then that it was never likely to occur that way again, at least until the kids are older and I'm closer to retirement!
In contrast, this year- we're just barely finishing the shopping, the Christmas cards I picked up last weekend are still sitting on the counter- no mailing labels printed and likely no hope of being done today either. Packages nowhere near being ready to mail to my sister or my dad. I guess THIS is the holiday frenzy that I'm accustomed to. We're actually more behind than usual- maybe a couple of "substantial infants" (thanks Rachel!) have something to do with it. However maybe because of them I have some new perspective about limits and trying harder to achieve some balance and truly be a happy person and good wife and mom. Maybe taking a break at Thanksgiving and running away to Yosemite helped so we wouldn't feel like the turkey day frenzy would just carry over for another month. Maybe it's because this is the first year that Joey is getting excited about Christmas and is itching to play with the train and start opening presents- and we can have some fun with the story telling and trying to create some mystery for him. Maybe it's because we're starting a new tradition of staying home on Christmas day to leisurely open presents and stay in our pjs for as long as possible- followed by Christmas dinner with mom and grandma- and mom's doing most of the cooking. I need to know what the formula was/is to I can be sure to repeat it again in the future- coasting into Christmas and not caring if the cards don't make it out before New Years Day. Cheers!