We have a few Christmas traditions in our family. The first one involves the putting up of the decorations and is a lot of fun.
Mainly it's fun for me because we get to go out for tea and then I get to decorate while patiently (and sometimes not so patiently) 'helping' the boys put up the tree. This year they spent more time drawing beautiful pictures on their Santa letters to allow mummy some quality tree time!!! Yep I'm that bad!
Anyway - here's where the joy of parenting comes in. The difference between expectation and reality...
All meet up after school and go out to Holywood for a lovely family meal. Then come home to soothing Christmas music, a beautiful time putting up the decorations and then sitting down to watch a Christmas movie with a nice glass of Shloer. Bliss :)
• Ethan threw up in the middle of last night which meant he couldn't go to school (for fear he'd repeat the joy there) so went to my mum's for the day. (Thanks mum xx) So automatically our lovely meal out was cancelled :(
• After running out to get some lovely pizza (2 for 1 Tuesday!!) we started putting up the tree... only to discover that I'm missing a set of lights. So only two sets are now string around a 3-set tree. I am not impressed :(
• No Christmas movies where on (or none that didn't involve a dog!!) so we listened to music, read an extra long bedtime story and I curled up on the sofa to watch Taken 3 with hubby instead!! :)
Life is very different to how we plan it or what our expectations are. Yet in this, it is beautiful. No we didn't get out to eat, but we all got in warm, comfy pjs as soon as we got home and closed the door to the world - quality family time. And I got some beautiful sneaky photos of my hubby and the boys picking out their wish list and looking at what gifts they want to give away. We sang, made jokes and truly relaxed. And I got to watch a movie with my hubby - something I'm usually too tired to do.
Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans. And a lot of the time, it is even better than any plans you could come up with. There's a reason so many people are slowing down for advent this year - letting the craziness pass them by and just being in the season.
God came down to give us life to the full - but sometimes we're meant to slow down and appreciate the 'little' things in order to fully live, focusing on Him and Him alone.
So next time your plans get waylaid, and your expectations go awry, stop, take a step back and relax - life just might beat your plans hands down!!
You gotta love kids!!
Keep shining xx