Maggie Makes Four!

This journal started off documenting the adoption of our youngest daughter. It now follows the twist and turns of our lives as we raise these two amazing little creatures into the best women they can become.

Monday, December 20, 2004

'Tis the Season!

Yes, it is Christmas. "A Holly, Jolly Christmas, the Best Time of the Year," the song goes, I think. But this year, I am just struggling to find the spirit.

I am not sure why I am not in the spirit of the season. I feel like I should be more in the spirit, but instead, it just seems like I have a really long to do list and not a lot of time to do it. Also, it seems my little angels have no desire to cooperate to get the tasks done, so I end up frustrated. A glance down my 'Christmas To Do List' is a little scary: Gifts unpurchased, cards/greetings not started, the tree only sort of decorated, the house sort of decorated, baking sort of started.

Does it matter that our Christmas Tree is only half decorated? No. Does it matter that our Christmas Cards are probably going to be holiday cards and that holiday may be Valentine's? No. Does it matter that all the baking is complete? No. But somehow, everywhere I look there are messages that Christmas is supposed to be a Norman Rockwell painting complete with cookies just out of the oven, and these days I am lucky if I get dinner out of the oven let alone a fresh batch of cookies.

Two years ago, we had the chance to spend Christmas in China. The Chinese spin on Christmas is a little different than the US spin on Christmas. In China, you see Christmas Trees, Santas, even hear Christmas Carols, but missing is the whole spiritual aspect of the Holiday. So the Christmas in my life that was truest to the real meaning of Christmas, I spent in a place devoid of the 'true' holiday spirit. Kind of ironic.

But, two years ago, we had just adopted La Nina and that Christmas was so wonderful. It didn't matter where we were. We were together as a family for the first time. We didn't open gifts, La Nina was our gift. As much as we missed our family and our home that year, it didn't matter. Our home was a hotel room at the China Hotel because we were in it together. For me, that Christmas captured the truest meaning of Christmas because it was truly filled with peace and joy of being a family and nothing else. There was nothing complicated or chaotic about it. This year, while I am trying to adjust to two kids and simultaneously deal with holiday chaos, Christmas 2004 will be just as soulful as Christmas 2002, but I am worried we will miss the peace of 2002. And I am worried I will be so exhausted by Christmas day, that I won't recognize the joy.

To find the peace, this week I need to let go of the stress and chaos. I may have to give gift certificates, send cards late and buy store bought cookies for Santa. Whatever it takes, because I don't want to compromise the true meaning of the holiday or miss any of the joy. This Christmas is another first for our family--it is the first with a family of four--and that is worthy of enjoying.


  • At 7:01 AM , Blogger Shana said...

    Beautiful post! I wish I were in China this Christmas!! Congratulations on making the news!
    Your friend at China33,
    Shana (group 103)

  • At 4:37 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I'm having the same problem with Christmas cards. I'm thinking Chinese New Year cards might be a good idea! Best wishes to you and your family.
    Merry Christmas!


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