What do your holidays look like? Have you mastered the happy medium between driving-yourself-crazy and doing-absolutely-nothing? Do you have more ideas pinned on Pinterest than you could ever hope to accomplish? Or, do you make reservations at a local restaurant and call it good?
When you start having kids, something awakens inside of most moms during holidays. It’s a combination of guilt and glee. It’s the feeling that you are now responsible for perhaps the most important days in the eyes of your child (holidays). You’d better do them right or ruin your child’s life forever (guilt doesn’t have to be rational, and usually isn’t!). The glee part of holidays is that they also give us the chance to relive our own childhood memories and recreate them in even bigger fashion for our children. We can go wild! We can create epic holidays of monumental proportion!
I took over as “Mom” of my birth family at a rather young age. All holidays were held at my home and I ran ragged trying to create perfect parties for my loved ones. There was a part of me that enjoyed all the research, cooking, decorating and cleaning (OK, never the cleaning). I’d start a month in advance and research what I’d cook and what decorations I would make.
I have made re-creations of Jesus’ crucifixion site in terrarium form. I have molded ice bowls with flowers and mint embedded in them. I’ve made dozens of carrot shaped marzipan cookies and bunny shaped dinner breads. And, I always had the table filled with more food choices than a casino buffet. I couldn’t stop myself.
I think I would have been like that forever if circumstances hadn’t forced me to change. The year after my husband fought his first battle with cancer, I crashed. I could hardly get out of bed much less put on the perfect holiday. I had to admit defeat and alert the relatives that there would be no party. But, a strange thing happened: they took over. They offered their houses and cooked the food. No, they didn’t do things my way. There were no terrariums, no fancy baked goods. But, everyone had plenty to eat, the kids ran around happily, and no one seemed to miss my bunny breads and ice bowls.
All the weight that I was carrying around on my shoulders, all that responsibility, disappeared like a puff of smoke. I didn’t have to do it all. In fact, I didn’t have to do much of anything. That was a very humbling (and gratifying) fact for me to learn. I was not the Queen of Holidays. They would go on whether I spent months preparing for them or not. I was free to focus on what the holidays were supposed to represent instead of what I was going to cook and craft. Jesus could take center stage instead of me and my plans.
I still struggle with finding that happy medium. I swing between wanting to do all the craft projects I see, to not wanting to do anything at all. So, what will Easter look like this year? It will be my own weird combination of shortcuts and creativity. It will be a last minute trip to the store for a ham, but making homemade side dishes. It will be using plastic eggs instead of real ones, but molding my own bird’s nest cookies. It will be family and adopted family gathered together, and it will always include LOTS of thankfulness for my savior Jesus Christ.
What will your Easter look like?