Rule #241: The exhaustion is worth it.
The absolute joy of our Christmas came when Corey walked down the stairs, hand-in-hand with Jon Boy, and saw everything Santa had brought him. The look on his face, the gasp of excitement, and those adorable pj’s with a protruding little tummy will forever be ingrained in my head. It’s funny because I can remember when I had those same feelings as a kid. That anticipation and absolutely giddy joy on Christmas morning are something that define childhood.
It genuinely feels like last week I was the one walking out into our living room in my Christmas PJ’s to see the tinsel-decorated REAL Christmas tree (I hate the fake ones, but my ole Jon Boy is allergic) and seeing the mountain of presents. I couldn’t tell you a specific present that stands out in my memory. I can only remember that very vivid JOY that filled the room so much you could almost hug it like Santa’s biggo belly.
Now, on Christmas Eve, Jon Boy and I are the ones staying up late to assist Santa in all his duties. I think we were even more giddy thinking of how Corey would react to Santa’s visit than we were with our own gifts. It’s crazy how things can completely flip once you’re a parent. You will stay up late, building crazy toys, exhausted already from the marathon that is the Christmas Season, all to get those moments of pure joy from your kids.
You’ll plan Santa’ s cookies days in advance, make sure the Reindeer get their treats, too, and you’ll even make sure Comet and Rudolph take ample bites out of their goodies to prove they were there.
One thing that’s changed for me this year is the absolute exhaustion, overwhelming mountain of to-do’s, and the constant feeling of not doing enough actually took over my usually jolly ole spirit. I’ve never before felt like Christmas was stressful until this year. Not bad that I’ve made it 32 years without that dreaded feeling. But still, it was tough to balance the happiness and “Spirit of the Season” with all of the many, many things there are to get done. That’s when I knew I was the adult in the room.
All of the tired nights, wrapping at all hours of the day, cooking, baking, planning, shopping (Praise Be for Amazon, ‘m I right?!), and it all seemed to fly by in a whirl. I’m sitting here writing this post (after beginning it 5 days ago…) in my PJ’s before I get dressed for a fun NYE tonight. I’m still exhausted. I’m pretty sure I’m on the verge of catching Pneumonia because my immune system is so weakened. But I’d do it all over again, and again, and again just for the happiness on our kiddo’s face (I’m only mentioning Corey because Brooke is a happy camper as long as she’s got a full belly and her lion chair).
Jon Boy and I went to bed Christmas Day so pooped and feeling like we blinked at it was all over. Jon said, “All that work, and it’s already over.” And that really resonated with me. I get it. It IS a lot of work. It IS a lot of planning. And, in the end, I don’t think Corey will remember every we gift we got him… he may not even remember the big Santa gift (his Jurassic Park Jeep). But, he will remember that giddy, joyful feeling, walking down the stairs in his Christmas PJ’s. He’ll remember seeing the presents and the Christmas tree so bright and the cookies all eaten. And that makes this whole whirlwind season worth it.
Now, if you need us, Jon Boy and I will be sleeping for the next month to recuperate. Happy New Year!