I don’t know about you, but where we live, there are dozens of incredible holiday events this time of year. From parades, to illumination walks, to gingerbread house building events, if you wanted to, you could pack your December with everything holiday. It’s really tempting too, because every event looks amazing, delicious, or beautiful, and it’s so hard not to just plan to do it all.
We had tickets for a few things this year. I get wrapped up in all the stuff being offered and think, “we just HAVE to do this.” I forget that the kids are babies, that we have many years to do all these things, that when you have three kids five and under, events that start at 6 pm are just never a good idea. I imagine we have to do everything, because we have to start traditions, and we have to make memories, and won’t the best memory be making a gingerbread house at a children’s store that’s 30 minutes away???
So we signed up.
And then I cancelled the reservations.
I have to breathe.
I have to remind myself that there will be other years. There will be years when we don’t have an infant who needs to go to bed early. There will be years when my toddler can handle her day without a nap and still be coherent by 7 pm.
There will be years when they can handle elaborate crafts, when they’ll understand enough but still believe in magic, when they’ll still have wonder but not teenage angst.
But this year…
This year, the traditions and celebrations will be simple. Driving by lit up houses on a spontaneous evening, when everything else in the day has lined up perfectly. Snuggling in bed watching a Christmas movie after the baby is in bed. Cookie decorating. Gift shopping. Crafts. Decorating the house. Being together.
We will have time for all these fun and elaborate outings later, but now, I want to keep our joys simple and our time precious.
I want to keep them small. Because I know that five years from now, when our family looks entirely different, I’ll miss when they were babies and movie night meant a movie at 6, a bowl of popcorn, and snuggles with mom and dad. We don’t need special reservations to make memories.
We just need us.