I may have been somewhat in the horrors earlier. I've had time to regroup - had a chat with a friend to vent some frustration, and spent some quiet time this evening with Hubby doing this:

This will all turn into Christmas presents but I won't say what in case any of the recipients may be reading!
It's not that I don't like Christmas. I just find it so, so hard not to get pulled into the general stress that goes with this time of year. I know it's easy for everyone to lose perspective with all the hype, but for someone like me with so little emotional defence, it's almost impossible. But when I eventually do manage to calm down (admittedly today it was a medicinally aided calm) I can slow down enough to regain a little perspective.

I was out walking with the dogs earlier, and the town looks so pretty with the lights up. They're just simple strings of white lights stretched over the road, but it's their simplicity that makes them so lovely. My house feels really, really cosy. I've got the shopping in, and plan to bake some treats for the kids tomorrow. The house is not going to be pristine on Christmas Day, and I don't care. The kids certainly won't care. I get so caught up in feeling guilty about EVERYTHING that I forget to take a step back and really think about things as they actually are. I was feeling horrible because I didn't want the house to be in a state when Hubby got home from work today. Shock horror, he really doesn't care either. 

I think what makes Christmas special is that it is the only time of the year when the majority of us get to slow down at the same time, or at least have the opportunity to. It's the only holiday that makes that happen, and there's so much magic for kids. Mine didn't visit Santa this year, but we've had elves popping in to visit, and they'll be doing a skype call with him tomorrow.

Their little minds are blown by this. It's not about stuff. It was never about stuff. It's about making my house warm and pulling up the drawbridge, just for a day. It's about heading east for a few days, with no agenda other than to spend time with our families and hopefully catch a few friends. My sister and niece are home from Denmark, we haven't seen them in months. My kids get to hang out with their cousins. I've a new niece to meet and I cannot wait to see her. There'll be a mountain of food in whatever house we visit, and I'm confident a fair bit of wine. We'll relax. We'll laugh. The kids will be spoilt rotten by two sets of grandparents and doting aunts and uncles. We'll probably get cabin fever but that's ok because there's nothing stopping us getting out for some air. 

I've been so, so tired this last few weeks. I haven't been looking after myself as well as I could, and I certainly haven't been getting enough sleep. It's made me snappy, irritable, and more prone to taking on whatever is going on around me, good or bad. But I've caught it. So the next few days, it's just me, my husband, and my kids. It won't all be sunshine and roses, but it will be us. And it will be enough. 

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