December 14th, 2010

All is Merry and Bright

Angie McCullagh

It’s that time of the year again. When snow dumps like wet concrete down a chute, mucking up roadways and canceling school drifts lazily to the ground. When holidays abound and we’re able to spend time together as a family arguing over whose toast has the most butter, slamming doors, and pelting each other with cranberries making gingerbread houses and cutting paper snowflakes. When we put up the dead pine tree that sheds needles all over the living room Noble Fir and decorate it with care.

For me, the holiday season used to mean time off, curling up by a fire, lots of food and naps, mulled wine, coffee drinks topped with towers of whipped cream, presents, carols, and an overall feeling of peace.

Since becoming a mother, though, pandemonium has replaced peace. The kids are home and amped up (which is its own sort of fun, but is not nap-inducing). Gone are the days when I huddled in my apartment with a boyfriend or made the trek to my parents’ house to be, if not pampered, left alone. Now I’m Mrs. Claus. I’m the cinnamon roll baker. I’m the one who tries her best to make sure the whole family has a nice holiday. And, while there’s something satisfying about being the Christmasmaker, I’d rather just read my book.

I’ve been a mom for almost eight years now, and there’s a lot I love about providing my kids with holiday memories. The old days call to me, though.

To wit, we hardly ever make it to Michigan to visit my family in the winter because it costs too darn much to get four of us there during the holidays. Instead of cutting our own tree (which means it stays fresh a lot longer, by the way) we get it at Home Depot on account of my husband likes the price and convenience. And there’s very little resting.

I cook and cook and decorate and zip all over town picking up last minute items we need. J. and I stay up late wrapping gifts. The magic, at least for me, has vanished.

For Milo and Belle, though, Christmas is as sparkly and wonderful as ever. I just have to remind myself that, when you have children, they get all the fun you pass the torch onto them. It’s my turn to do what my parents did for my sister and I back in the 70s and 80s. This December that won’t stop me, however, from chugging some mulled wine and stealing a few precious moments of peace. Even if I have to stand out in the snow by myself to do it.

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This Weeks Tip

We did a review a while ago of dry shampoo. Here’s an alternative when you don’t have time to wash, but want to get rid of the oily-ness. Sprinkle some baking soda on your hair, comb through then quickly fluff your hair with a blow dryer. (note: You can also add a little scented baby powder to keep your hair smelling clean!)