This Christmas is a stark contrast to last year’s. Last year I was at home day in and day out taking care of a baby and my home. We were on a shoe string budget. It was Gwyneth’s first Christmas and it was our time to begin our family’s own traditions. To me, this meant making expectations of an extravagant Christmas Eve dinner, lots of gifts for Gwen and filling our home with decorations.
To make this all happen I had to get creative. I made Gwen parts of her gifts, went to the used-toy store to find her toys within our budget, our family helped with the extravagant Christmas Eve dinner and we made do with our decorations we already had. While it wasn't exactly what I had in mind, it was what we could do. This year is proving to be different. I’m working away from home and the precious time we have together in the evenings and weekends has been stretched thin. Instead of spending months focusing on Christmas, we’ve been focusing on keeping our heads somewhat straight and not giving into the creeping feelings of frustration. There aren’t any homemade gifts for Gwen under the tree, but toys bought on Cyber Monday. There aren’t any elaborate plans for Christmas Eve dinner, instead we’re going out for sushi. I hadn't bought a single gift for anyone other than Gwen until Saturday and didn't finish shopping until last night. Last year was great, I got to prove to myself that Christmas on a budget is possible. With that being said, it was stressful and emotional. This year, I get to prove that things don’t have to be elaborately planned. Gifts can be last minute, plans low-key and we will all still enjoy the holiday, because it's not about plans, money or expectations. It's about enjoying your family, spreading Christmas cheer and believing. This is especially true this year, with the recent tragedy in Connecticut so fresh in our minds. I know we're all hugging our precious babes a little closer and praying a prayer of thanks for the family we are so blessed to get to enjoy.
So, I hope you're all having a swell holiday, whether it be on a budget or jam-packed busy.