Monday, December 12, 2011

It Will Have to Do

                                                                Oh. Tannenbaum.

Margaret is asleep. Little Miss Viola Honey is cooing next to me and the house is clean. Well. All the clutter is shoved in closets and under beds. So. The house is basically clean. Our little Christmas tree glows against our purple walls and I think about my girls. They have come to a crazy little woman. I never finish anything. My personality tends to the flighty. I mean everything I promise. And get around to about thirty percent of it. My tastes are well, eclectic. The last time I was really proud of an outfit my mom said I looked like,

"a homeless woman. But, you know, one that had happened upon a bin of really expensive mismatched clothes."

Thank you?

 I want to give these two darlings the whole world, but around here a successful morning is one where I have been able to find a pair of socks for each of us. (Much harder than you would think.)

Christmas, while joyful and colorful and magical, is also brimming with feelings of inadequacy. I so want to be that family. You know the one. From November 1st to December 31st their house would make the North Pole envious. Their homemade caramel never burns and the kids aren't crying in their Christmas card picture.  The family with carol singing and  traditions the children still love when they are eighty and their children's children are having babies. My house is usually too filled with diapers to stir up any feeling, except maybe a desire for a bigger trash can. I can't make rice without burning it black, so attempting homemade caramel might border on the insane. And Margaret cries everytime someone points a camera at her. We do sing carols. And I am inordinately proud of that. As for traditions? I want to give my children traditions. Little bits of stability and safety they can retreat to when they are adults and the world is a little less friendly. There have been attempts. Most of which involve me losing, breaking or forgetting the most important part. Head in my hands, I know. The woman who cannot keep her children in socks is unlikely to be a woman that keeps traditions.

Yesterday, my lovely husband reminded me of a couple of verses in Matthew,

Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

This is the first and great commandment.

Sweet relief. The first and great commandment from our Heavenly Father, the creator of the universe, of stars and space and light and me, is about love. And honey, I know how to love. That is something I can give these little souls He sent my way. And give in abundance. The caramel making they will have to learn from someone else.

Traditions? Maybe next year. This Christmas, love and a viewing of It's a Wonderful Life will just have to be enough.

I think it is.

Postscript. I burned two grilled cheese sandwiches while writing this post. Typical.

5 comments:

  1. I hope that wasn't my grilled cheese.

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  2. Megan, I totally feel the same way. After church on Sunday I told Brian that we need to have not just more traditions, but more Christ centered traditions. I was feeling pretty bad about that. Maybe next year. :) I'm going to have a blast being Santa this year and you know what, I think giving my kids tons of gifts is Christlike, right? :)

    I laughed so hard about your mom's comment on your clothes. I've totally had my mom say something along the lines of, "Are you going for a cheap and easy kind of look? You're taking those clothes back." Okay.... Yes, in my second life I will be a skank.

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  3. I used to have all those feelings when I had little ones running around (you describe it so well!) -- and I'm happy to say now that all the while I was bemoaning my sorry excuses for "traditional" traditions, my kids were collecting them. They surprisingly held those nontraditional things I could pull together close to their hearts and I finally allowed myself to discover it was all good, all along. Just love them and they'll soak it up. And they'll share the wonderful traditions in their home during Relief Society some day:)

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  4. I am friends with Theresa and she sent me the link to your blog because she thinks you're so cute, I agree.

    Guess what? I wasn't sure we had any traditions until I heard my girls explaining all the really fun and cool things we do every Christmas. So I guess we do have traditions, they're just so embedded in my life I didn't really notice.

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