“You hate Christmas, admit it!' Rosie said last week rather casually and then she walked off as if to punctuate the point.
I was left in the hallway contemplating my response. Had I turned into a Scrooge over the years? Had I really lost all interest in the Christmas season? While my answer to those questions is no, I did see my kid's point. In the past five years she's been a little shortchanged in the holiday department. And, to be honest, it's all my fault.
Four years ago, I was the chair of a massively time consuming, Kansas City holiday tradition when my dear Aunt Dee was diagnosed with a brain tumor. She passed away right before Thanksgiving and her husband followed a couple weeks later. Sadly, the next week my Aunt Rhoda got in the car after having lunch with the girls and had a heart attack. After losing three relatives in a month, I didn't have much holiday spirit (and I was sicker than crap after all the stress), so our tree went up a couple of days before Santa came. It was the best I could do.
The next three years were pretty much the same. We got done with Nutcracker Tea Party and then started to think about Christmas. Already two weeks into December, it became a “hurry and get the tree up” kind of thing. So, there really wasn't a big focus on decorating or celebrating. Just a lot of “let's get it done” (especially last year when I lost a job December 1. I should also confess that I bombed on my holiday cards as well. Two years went out at once. Oh well.).
Since Rosie was eight when the holidays changed, she doesn't remember that we did put an emphasis on having the perfect Christmas when she was little (and to be honest, since we celebrate Chanuka too, I didn't really feel that guilty that Christmas took a backseat). And, obviously by her comment last week she now thinks I hate the holiday and don't care to make it perfect for her. Not true.
This weekend, I took out all the boxes and began to decorate. The tree, in all it's glory, went up just after Thanksgiving like it's supposed to when the holidays are “normal.” And, the mantel and staircase was redesigned for this year's festivities. Rosie and I decided that the stocking for our pup Macallan, who passed away in July would stay up forever as a tribute to him. And, we won a new more grown up tree for her to replace her purple Disney one.
Even though Rosie doesn't believe in Santa (which was another mother of the year moment for me), I don't want her to lose all the magic of the holidays. And, I certainly don't want her to think I'm a scrooge. I'm just a mom who's tried to do the best I can when life's thrown me a few curve balls during the holidays. But, then again, it's not about me. It's all about her.