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The Holiday Hype and How It Let Me Down: Why Christmas Kind of Sucked

The Holiday Hype and Why It Let Me DownMy life is not perfect. Really not perfect. Usually when I’m writing here, I talk about all the fun memories and happy moments I’m making while being a mom, but that doesn’t mean that my life is all sunshine and roses and that I don’t have my crap too. I do.

So today, I’m going to make myself vulnerable and transparent and share our Christmas post, that is probably not-so-much like the rest of the ones you will read today. I’m just gonna be real and tell you about how Christmas kind of sucked this year.

In the weeks leading up to Christmas I was the most excited I’ve ever been for the holiday. I could hardly contain my excitement. I decorated my house the weekend after Thanksgiving and that never happens…I usually don’t even really decorate a ton aside from the typical tree and we didn’t even bother with one of those last year. My Instagram has been filled with all things Christmas-related, Fern had a stocking that was already filled to the brim, Christmas dress picked out… you get the idea…I was stoked.

We had our first part of the Christmas celebration on Sunday at my in-laws’ house and that went fine, but the rest of the holiday was kind of a disaster, which in retrospect isn’t terribly surprising considering the fact that I’d hyped everything up so much in my head that there’s no way that the reality ever could’ve lived up to my expectations anyway.

I started to feel overwhelmed and cancelled on some of our plans, and then my husband and I got in a fight about it, which led to canceling even more of our plans, because we were fighting. Then I was upset and sort of flipped out and decided that Christmas was going to be cancelled altogether. So we came home and spent our Christmas Eve eating crappy pasta for dinner while I took down every shred of Christmas decoration (aside from the tree and I would’ve taken that out too if it weren’t raining) in our house. I told you. I seriously flipped. When we went to bed, I told Craig that I would be returning all of our Christmas presents and that we weren’t celebrating Christmas anymore. (*Note: it maybe sounds like I was being super dramatic and bratty, and I definitely was being dramatic, but I was mostly just super sad about the whole situation, not trying to be a jerk. I swear I’m not usually this dramatic, but something in my just sort of snapped.)

Fern ended up sleeping in until 9:00 and when she got up we went about with business as usual. I had a bowl of cereal (not exactly what I imagined eating in my Christmas morning fantasy) and had already called my parents to tell them not to come over. I was starting to blog and follow through with my plan to not celebrate, when Craig had a come-to-Jesus talk with me and I snapped out of it.

We finally ended up opening our stockings and gifts, but didn’t take photos of any of it. There were no Instagrams and no documentation of Fern’s First Christmas aside from a little video we took of her opening her stocking. She didn’t get to wear her Christmas dress. There was no family photo of us wearing our Christmas pajamas with joyful smiles. But, you know what? None of that matters. What matters is that I have a great family and I am so blessed on a daily basis that one day out of the year really isn’t so important. We ended up seeing family and friends in the afternoon and it all turned out fine, even though it wasn’t what I’d imagined.

I got so caught up in all the hype of Christmas and making it so perfect, that I forgot about the real meaning of Christmas. Next year I will definitely be doing things differently and trying to make Christmas less about the hype and more about the real moments with the people I love.

So, there you have it…my not-so-fluffy Christmas story.

 

Lauren Hartmann is the founder of The Little Things We Do, a blog about life and adventures in Portland Oregon. Follow her on TwitterFacebookPinterest and Instagram or catch up on all of her posts here on Babble.

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