Thursday, December 23, 2010

A Single Mama's Christmas

This is the first year I actually feel settled into my single mom role. To make my holiday easier, I did a few things I've learned over the last couple of years that made the whole holiday run more smoothly.

A close up of our tree.

The three guys eating the gingerbread house they made.
The most important thing I did, however, was to lower my expectations of creating a "perfect" holiday. There really is no such thing! I'm taking it one day at a time and doing what I can, and not worrying about the rest. The point is that my sons get to have a relaxing, happy day and feel loved, and that's exactly what I'm aiming to accomplish. We did some amazingly fun things this holiday season; we built a gingerbread house, took a train ride with Santa on a 1950's era dinner train, toured the neighborhoods around our home "hunting" for Christmas lights with hot chocolate several times, attended a few kid friendly holiday parties, built toy trains at a Lowe's workshop, went to breakfast with Santa at a local hotel, went sledding, and best of all, jumped in the snow in our pajamas during the first big snowfall.

The "Christmas Express" train - for military families and their children. :)

The big guy pulling the two little guys. :)
My little men jumping in the snow in their PJ's - an idea they came up with all on their own. :) I had blankets fresh out of the dryer waiting on them after their five minute romp was over!
The three little guys waiting for their train ornament from Santa.

The sad little poinsettia!
 There have been many disasters along the way, too - but that's to be expected. :) From crushing the gingerbread house only 20 minutes after they built it, to using board game pieces to throw at each other, having accidents in the middle of the mall, eating all the homemade English toffee and my box of Godiva, breaking a treasured ornament, spilling coffee all over me and unwrapping my present from my mom-in-love and nearly losing it down the heater vent, and plucking nearly all the leaves and petals off of my poinsettia, I've been on the verge of insanity at times.

But, moments like the one I had last night are the moments I will treasure forever. When we were driving to a Christmas party and passed a live, outdoor, life size nativity scene along the way, the boys asked me to stop when they saw the spotlight in the sky. We walked along a path of candles to watch the story of Christ's birth be played out in real life, with that beam of light streaming toward heaven and big flakes of snow falling all around us. All three of my sons then decided to sing Happy Birthday to Jesus at once. By remembering the thousands of blessings God has given me, it helps to dull the memory of the hurt of having a broken family. If anything, I am full of a deep, lasting JOY for God's incredible role in my little family's healing and continued growth despite our challenges.

Have a blessed Christmas! Enjoy your families - savor the peaceful moments. :) Even if your holiday doesn't involve everyone you miss, or it is a lean year present-wise... remember the many small blessings you have, and smile.


  1. oh that poor poinsettia!! HAHA Sorry, I had to laugh at that. I CAN NOT imagine having 3 of Jacob--so wow! You handle everything with such grace. I'm so glad you're having a wonderful Christmas! I wish I could have seen that nativity too--sounds amazing! Merry Christmas! :)

  2. Kristen - I laughed, too! ;) I couldn't even be mad. It's just my life right now, and I know that once they're older I'll miss it terribly. :)