The Perfect Santa Gift
I don’t know if you can relate, but for the last 24 hours I’ve been a little stressed out about Christmas. To be clear, I LOVE Christmastime. I love the music, I love buying gifts, I even enjoy the crazy shopping. But I suppose that doesn’t mean there won’t be a little stress involved.
My current crisis is twofold – I spent too much money and I’m sick about it. That’s the first part. I thought I was doing ok. But then it got out of control. So here I am. Secondly, I’m not happy with Sophie’s Santa gift. And there’s nothing worse than spending too much money and not being happy with what the money was spent on.
So just yesterday (4 days before Christmas), Brad and I come up with the perfect gift for her – I mean the idea. But it’s too late in the game. I just don’t have time to go looking all over town for it, and they are more expensive than we realize. Yet I’m racking my brain trying to figure out how we can get our hands on something like this.
I’ve been spending a lot of energy on worrying about Sophie’s Santa gift. Maybe because she is so close to growing out of this. She is at this age where she is kindof too old for a lot of things, but not really old enough for others. And with her birthday so close to Christmas, it makes things a little more complicated.
It might be time for me to admit that I get a little obsessive about Christmas presents. I haven’t really faced up to the reality that I view gift giving as a kind of challenge to find ‘the perfect gift.’ That isn’t to say that this is what happens with everyone’s gift. Far from it. But when I come up with an idea for someone that I think is really good, I might go a little far obsessing over it. And it makes sense that I would do this with my kids.
And when I feel that I am completely clueless – as I do with Sophia – I get frustrated. I start throwing money at the problem and that is not really the solution.
Yesterday we took Sophie and some of her friends to a children’s museum for her birthday. On the way up I asked the girls what they want for Christmas. Sophie’s response was something that she had previously not mentioned, but something I should have figured out – horse stuff. She specifically mentioned ‘a horse that you paint.’
Ok. This would have been helpful a month ago. Later on it occurs to Brad and I that it would be super cool if we got her a barn or stable for her horses. Oh man, that would be great. And yes, it would have been great if we’d known and Brad could have BUILT HER ONE!!! Geez. We have 4 days.
So I was close to breaking down last night over this. (It sounds ridiculous, as I listen to myself now.) I mean, I’m sure it’s everything… and this is just the last straw. The money, too much running, 3 kids – and lets face it: the pressure put on MOMS to make Christmas happen for their family.
This morning Brad calls me and says he’s at Big R. “They have the horse. They have one left. Should I get it? It’s $12.99.” I can’t help but laugh a little. $12.99. Will $12.99 bring as much happiness as I suspect it will? “Yes, get it. Please, get it. And look for barns while you’re there.”
After we get off the phone I think, What if Sophie’s Santa gift is only $12.99? It probably doesn’t matter to her. It probably doesn’t matter to her whether it’s more or less than I spent on Clare. As I walk thru the living room and glance over at our small but happy Christmas tree, all lit up with presents surrounding it… my kids playing on the floor… Sophie singing a made up Christmas song in innocence – it probably doesn’t matter. The magic isn’t about how much. In fact, it isn’t even about whether it’s the perfect gift. She won’t know the difference whether we find her a barn or not. She has mentioned many things that she would like to have, and she will be getting most of them from us or grandmas.
The other day Sophie and were talking about how we are going to fit in all our Christmases. When will we open our gifts?, what time will we go to Mimi’s? – stuff like that. We started reminiscing about what we’ve done in the past. “I hope we have a big snow storm and we have to go to Mimi’s Christmas Eve like one year,” she says. “Remember when we got up early and had breakfast and opened our presents with Daddy and then went to Mimi’s? That was fun too…” It wasn’t about the gifts. It wasn’t about the surprise. It was about us. It was about people. Even for my kids.
I opened up Jill’s blog this morning – Jill Savage from Hearts-at Home. Her message was simply sharing a piece of God’s word. Here it is.
“God’s miracles are staggering, His wonders are surprising. His kingdom lasts and lasts, His sovereign rule goes on forever.”
Daniel 4:3 The Message
God’s miracles… His kingdom… His rule. While my little problems can easily run my world, there is a big God that could be running it instead. And this is His big celebration.
It’s about what we make it about. What am I focused on? There’s a lot of pressure on us Moms to make Christmas happen for our families. I’m going to start praying that I can make Christmas about love and people, for my kids, this year. I’m going to stop freaking out about this, and take a chill pill. It’s fine. I’ll figure this out. I’ll get everything done that has to get done. And I’ll make a point to enjoy the time we will spend together… perfect gifts, or not.