I want to enjoy the Christmas season, I truly do. The problem is in the stress of buying gifts, wrapping gifts, decorating the house, fulfilling obligations like helping my daughter to participate in the "All Kids Craft Fair" by practically making all her crafts while she is at school, dance, basketball, etc., attending various "fun" events and battling the worst cold I have had since the turn of the century. The anxiety over attempting to fit all this in within a few weeks because I neglected, yet again, to begin the shopping process early in November, is a product of my own making. One would think that I would buy myself some time by eliminating the holiday baking: excessive amounts of all different types of cookies all hand make by me and lovingly packaged for only the most deserving friends and relatives. No, actually this insanity is what keeps me from jumping off a cliff into the abyss of holiday madness.
Except for one thing...my children want to help me.
If you only watch one minute of t.v during the month of December, you are guaranteed to see an ad featuring a loving mother helping her cute elementary school age children create Christmas cookies and various other holiday treats all while an emotionally charged yet mellow pop song plays in the background. These advertisements serve up a walloping portion of guilt especially during this time of year when all I want to do is banish my own kids to the playroom in the basement so that I can enjoy some peace and quiet by myself in the solace of my own kitchen. Just call me, "Mother of the Year".
I kept them at bay as long as I could. Claiming that I had to mix the dough myself so that I could "focus" on the ingredients. But those kids know what just about every holiday in my kitchen means...cookie cutters.
"I want to do the Santa carrying the bag one!" Ava yelled over Declan's request to use his new "Ninjabread Men" cookie cutters, courtesy of my sister-in-law out in California. (She'll get hers when Maggie and Nate are old enough to insist on helping out in the kitchen about 2 years from now!) Just what I wanted to give to my friends and neighbors, Christmas Ninja Dude Cookies performing various martial arts moves. How festive.
My guilt gets the best of me and I succumb to the constant requests. There are only so many times I can endure the question, "Mo-om! When do we get to help?!"
"O.K. You can both help but one at a time. Whenever you work together, you fight and I can't handle that today. I will call you when it's your turn."
"I want to go first!"
"He always gets to go first, I never do!" and so on, etc., etc.
"Enough! I said I would call you and you won't complain about who goes first!!!!"
Let's just say, that I managed to survive, but just barely.