January 4, 2012

What I Learned from Christmas Day


Here's what Christmas day looks like around here when I'm hosting the family meal:

We rise early to open presents.  My husband and I sip coffee while the kids tear open packages and play with new toys.  We have breakfast, play with the kids and their new toys, and start some laundry.  I stuff the turkey and put it in the oven, make lunch, clean up the house, set the table, take a bath, dress the children, brush their hair and prepare the rest of the dinner meal. Our guests arrive, we visit, eat, open gifts and then cleanup.  We put the kids to bed and play some board games with our visitors, then see our guests out the door.  There is some more cleaning.  We talk about our day and unwind a little, and then collapse contentedly into bed.  All within less than 24 hours.


I imagine your Christmas day is quite different but also very much the same. You accomplish a lot. Not only are we able to cook up a storm and clean our homes, we have time to visit with guests and play with our children?  How is this so? How do we cram so much into one day and consider it a "day off?"


How can I have that kind of time every day?


Here are some things that many of us do to make Christmas day run smoothly, and I know that I would do well to apply these things better to my every day.

1. Planning.  Not many of us went to bed on Christmas eve without a plan for the next days dinner.  When most of us went to bed on Christmas eve, we knew what we needed to do the next day, where we needed to go and at what time and what we need to take with us.  We probably even knew what the whole family was going to wear and what's for breakfast.   This kind of planning would only take a few minutes on a regular evening and can make the next day run so much smoother.

2.Tradition.  Tradition is a sentimental way to say routine.  Christmas day has a cadence to it, a rhythm, a series of events that happen in a certain order even if the schedule itself  is casual. When an ordinary day has a rhythm to it, all the members of the family know what they should be doing and what will happen next.  For a mother at home with young children, a daily rhythm might be a very flexible set of activities in a specific order, and based around feeding times and babies whims  For other families it will revolve around more specific times in which things need to happen.  The point is that when we have a family routine that works, we can spend our days flowing reasonably painlessly from each task and activity to the next instead of feeling like we are dragging our family through a chaotic and unattainable to-do list.

3.Grace.  If only I could extend the grace to my family every day that I do on Christmas.  It would change everything.   On christmas day I can see that my kids are tired, excited, and a little over-loaded on sugar.  I don't let them get away with whatever they want, but I also don't expect more of them than they can handle.  I see them as the precious little gifts they are, and I smile at them when they ask me to play with them.  If I could do just that one thing every day through the whole year, wow....I want to be that mom.  Don't you?


Not every day can be a holiday.  But Christmas day has reminded me of something that I already knew: that some planning, some routine,and a whole lot of grace can be the difference between a sobbing heap of exhausted mommy and a calm and gentle mother ready to sit on the floor and play barrel of monkeys for just a minute or two.


Thanks so much for visiting The Complete Guide to Imperfect Homemaking!

14 comments:

  1. Wow, so well said, and something I never thought of before. Thanks for giving me some new perspective, and a new goal to work towards!

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  2. how true, putting family and friends and eating together first _ i am trying to be that woman this year

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  3. Hi Kelly. Happy New Year! I've just started up a new linky party called "Thriving on Thursdays" which will feature recipes, crafts, projects, decluttering and organising advice, vintage finds etc. I would love it if you shared some of your fantastic ideas, if you get a chance.

    http://domesblissity.blogspot.com/2012/01/thriving-on-thursdays-linky-party-1.html

    Thanks Kelly!

    Anne @ Domesblissity xx

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  4. What a great post. I too cant say it any better than very well said. Thank you so much for sharing. I hope twenty twelve is everything you wish for and more. I will follow on my way out so I can revisit. I hope you can find the time to come visit me and do the same. I look forward to engaging throughout the year. Cheers SpecialK XoXo

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  5. Very true and something I never thought about! Great food for thought here!

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  6. Very eloquently said! It's about having a plan, and being *in* the moment with the kids by extending them a little grace-and some for Mom, too.

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  7. I love your blog! I am a follower (here, twitter, and facebook).
    -Audri (Rediscovering Our Family www.rediscoveringourfamily.blogspot.com)

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  8. It's true, we tend to extend more grace on those days, don't we? Good reminder :)

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  9. What a great post. And a great reminder on how we can live each day like those special days that only happen a few days a year! :)

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  10. I want to be that mom, too. :)

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  11. You are amazing! You house is so organized and you still have time to craft, cook decorate and care lots of little ones. AMAZING! I've been thru almost your entire blog and have pinned a few things to do. I'm your newest follower. See you soon!
    Cheers! Rita

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  12. Beautifully put and completely inspiring. Thanks for sharing with everyone.
    A Grandma...

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  13. But perhaps Young meant to become ordained online depict Xmas Day many years later rather than the original Christmas Day! The Bible doesn't mention that it was snowing on the original Christmas Day. It does snow in Bethlehem.

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