My name is Erin McCrea. I’m a Momma, a pet Momma, and a writer. I had my first baby at age 35 in May of 2016. Becoming a mom was the scariest thing I’ve ever done, and I have loved every moment of it. I blog at http://erinisawriter.blogspot.ca/, but haven’t done a lot since Anthony arrived. It’s my goal to be a consistent Writing Mom by the time his birthday arrives. I’m shy, caring, weird, bossy, and I try to be happy every day. My baby helps with that.
Before I really start writing this post, I have to say thanks to my mother who gave me years of Christmas magic and memories.
My son is two and a half. I don’t know when he’s going to start remembering things. I don’t remember Christmas at that age. I have some flashes of memories from the toddler years. I want to make this Christmas amazing just in case he remembers some of it. We are hosting Christmas for the first time since he was born, and I’m really excited about starting some new traditions, and having a relaxing Christmas.
I’m trying not to put too much pressure on myself because I don’t want him to remember his mom being a stress ball. I also don’t want to be a stress ball. I need to remember that self care is ALWAYS important: especially if I want my son to see the joy of the season.
I want him to remember the first time we lit up our real Christmas tree. I know I will always remember the smile on his face the first time we turned on the lights.
We have a fake one as well, but this year we bought a real tree to put up. I love the smell. I want him to as well. So far he loves the tree. “Santa. Tree.” “Happy HoHoHo!”
He won’t remember specific presents he received, but he’ll remember the love and happiness that surrounded him during the holidays.
That’s what I remember. There are a few presents I remember, but they’re mostly books because books become family memories when people read them with you.
It’s just a lot of work getting to that moment of being calm and present because first I have to get it all done. This is another moment where I need to tip my hat to working mommas and single mommas because I’m barely keeping it together with support, and without having to work. The stress of getting everything ready and perfect is overwhelming at times. I know the stress isn’t needed, but I get stressed out over small things most of the time so I can’t be surprised that Christmas planning will stress me out.
We do so much to make this holiday perfect. It’s funny because I don’t believe anything is perfect, and I don’t strive for perfection in myself, but I do seem to be striving for the perfect Christmas.
A perfect Christmas memory isn’t actually hard to achieve. I just need my family. I need hugs. I need toddler smiles. Nothing else matters. Instead of sharing what stresses me out, I’m going to share what I enjoy doing to keep myself happy.
I try to do Christmas cards every year. I want to send some Christmas joy for people to get in the mail. I always write a 2018 update letter, and since Anthony, I’ve made photo cards. This year I sent around 70. I keep trying to cut back, but it’s not easy. I do these with the knowledge that it’s really not that important to my partner. I’m not saying this to insult him. I get it. If I didn’t send them, it wouldn’t really make a difference to him. He does appreciate that I send them though. I did all my cards before I started on the rest of my holiday plans. I lost all my addresses this year (and found them the second I addressed the last one), and I also accidentally said “All the best in 2018” on most of the printed cards. Even with the rough start, I did them anyway, and it felt so good to mail them. These cards are something I’ve always done, with or without a child, with or without a partner. They take a lot of time, but I can’t let them stress me out because I honestly love sending them.
The same goes for most of my Christmas ideas. I try to do a lot of homemade crafts for people. I started this last year because it was nice to save money, and I’m continuing it this year because I enjoyed it so much last year. Getting everything done in time can be stressful. Sitting down to make a craft for people to enjoy? Not stressful at all. It’s part of my self care, although I didn’t realise that when I came up with the idea.
All this rambling is to say that even though the Christmas season is stressful, it doesn’t have to be. I choose to be proud of everything I have accomplished, and of all the love I’m attempting to spread. There are so many things we can do to make a nice balance, and not stress ourselves out. This year, I’ve decided to start a new tradition of donating toys that we don’t need anymore to charities in Saskatoon. It felt SO good to go through all of Anthony’s toys and get rid of half of them. I did this while he was sleeping, but I hope next year to include him in the decision making.
I’m one of those people that find the holidays to be magical. I want my son to see this season as magical as well. If he remembers nothing else this year, I hope he remembers the feelings of awe and magic. That’s up to me to help him. I’m ready for the challenge.