When my children were little I learned early on to ONLY tell them they were playing with a friend when the friend was walking to the door. Because if I told them early and the friend did not show up they were devastated!!
I have slacked off as they have gotten older, but I am realizing that when I say we are going to do something the kids expect it to happen. In an effort to liven up Christmas I have developed this wonderful plan to celebrate the 12 days of Christmas.
Day One...my plan was to decorate our Christmas Tree. We brought our tree home, started bringing the Christmas decorations from the attic. We could not find the lights. They were winning at the game of hide and seek. We couldn't decorate the tree without the lights!! SIGH!! And, it turned out that four of the families members needed to be out of the house in the evening. SIGH!! SIGH.
On the first day of Christmas my true love sent to me...a naked Christmas tree!!
Day Two...my plan was to watch two Christmas movies. We ended up laughing through one claymation Christmas movie and only watched a part of the the second. And, the lights were still winning at the game of hide and seek.
On the second day of Christmas my true love sent to me...two partially watched Christmas movies and a still naked Christmas tree.
Day Three...my plan was to make three yummy Christmas treats...by now I have learned my lesson. I am not completely stupid. I did not say what we were doing for the day. It turns out that I spent the afternoon with some families from the play Clara is in at the Tropical Smoothie Cafe. It was fun, but it WAS NOT in my plan. We got home late.
As soon as we got home, the kids asked me innocently and excitedly "what's the third day of Christmas?" There are lots of ugly thoughts churning inside my head. The good news is I kept them in my head and not out of my mouth. What did come out of my mouth shocked and dismayed my children.
The third day of Christmas....you get to clean three rooms. So, four very disgruntled children set out to clean three rooms. Not nearly as fun as baking treats, but a necessity nevertheless.
And at this point, I have yet to teach the history of hidden meaning of the carol for the third day. Which by the way represents faith, hope and love. Oh, the irony as all are waning in my grumbly heart!!
However....David did find the lights, so our naked tree has lights!!! But, by the time the girls got home from their event, it was too late to put the ornaments on the tree. My boys were beside themselves as they were sent to bed again with an undecorated tree. My positive spin was.."but look it's pretty and twinkly now!!".
On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me three clean rooms cleaned by disgruntled children.
Here's the lesson that I'm being reminded of as I venture forward. In life, we must plan with an open hand!!! Proverbs 19:21 says "Many are the plans of a man's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails."
So, even though the Norman Rockwell Christmas experience is not a reality in my home. What is a reality is that we are day by day learning as a family to deal with the disappointments of life. We are learning to stick together even when things don't go our way. We are learning that Christmas isn't about my perfect plan...
Christmas is about God's purpose being accomplished through a perfect baby born in a manger who lived a perfect life and died a perfect death. Christmas is about my imperfections being made perfect in the Person of Jesus.
Glory to God in the Highest. Peace on Earth and Goodwill to Man!!