Forget Christmas lists, elf on the shelf, or even pictures on Santa’s lap. Perfect Christmas? I don’t even aim for it. We operate with lowered expectations. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the pageantry, the lights, and excitement of the season. However, we aim for holiday survival and hope to have a few fun moments.
For example, I have no idea what the “must have” toys are this season. I was not one of those moms breaking down doors on Black Friday. To build Charlie’s Christmas list, I combed through special needs catalogs and asked Charlie’s therapists for ideas. I’m a boring mom. Charlie will be getting toys that help her develop the skills she is struggling with. She seems to enjoy the toys as much as the “must haves”.
Admittedly, I look forward to Charlie’s first picture with Santa. This year is not her year. I determined this by feeling out the situation when Santa first started appearing at the mall. We stood back and watched while other kids got their pictures taken with Santa. Charlie watched curiously with narrowed eyes. When Santa walked by a few moments later, she burst into tears and grabbed on to me. That moment was an indicator that this is not the year for Santa pictures.
Additionally, I would like to have a Christmas tree. However, it is another impracticality in our house. I don’t want to worry about the cat eating needles, Charlie (or the cat) climbing it, broken ornaments, or the dog knocking it over. Instead, Charlie and I made a wreath for the front door. The adventure and story involved made the wreath just as sweet as the tree.
I’m not against Christmas or holidays. I merely lack the desire for Christmas perfection (or any perfection). Maybe, it is because I’m tired from running to appointments and therapy. Or possibly, the heartbreak of Charlie’s early birth has left me feeling jaded and cynical about the idea of a perfect anything. Most likely, it is because I know having Charlie with us for Christmas has already made it perfect and the rest is trivial details.