Dear Christmas Mom, 1
Parenting

Dear Christmas Mom,

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dear christmas momI know.

Me too.

It is indeed the most wonderful time of the year… but moms get the reindeer booty-end, don’t we?

And I know, good mommies don’t say such words.  But tonight at dinner, I found myself bawling “FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS GOOD AND HOLY SHUT UP!!!!”

My two-year-old said flatly, “Mommy! Calm down missy!”

One more trip to the dollar store, one more brave quest to the market… just one more thing for one more stocking, one hour before you remember… you just need one more meaningless gift for your new brother-in-law… wait? Are they married yet?

What is all this stuff anyway?  Did I really just buy this?  Am I insane?

And yep, I did just sit in my car and cry and eat a package of cookie dough. And then used my Weight Watcher’s points calculator to tally the expense.  According to the numbers I have been entering I am at a points deficit into June of 2018.

I texted my sister and asked her what she was doing and she said: “Hauling embarrassing amounts of crap to Goodwill so that we can replace it with more embarrassing amounts of crap in four days and then I can do this all again… next year.”

Sigh.

So, I can tell you to chill and rest in the blessedness of the season, but I know… we create the magic. It makes it hard to embrace the mystic when you alone are responsible for manifesting it. I am next to you in line, calculating the demise of next year’s budget on my fingers. My shopping cart is full of bows, ribbons, wine, cheese balls, gift cards, fancy holiday socks, and the whimsical baskets I will fill with semi-homemade treats for neighbors who called the police on us twice in the last year.

Who knew you could stick a Rolo on a pretzel and nuke it for 11 seconds, shove a pecan in the center and be made famous in certain circles.  I chill those bad boys for 20 minutes throw them in a Ziploc bag with a bow, call them ‘turtles’ and BOOM: I am legend.

I am exactly the same character every year. Frazzled. Freaked out and desperate to manifest a perfect holiday memory for something that was made perfect already.  Everyone will expect me to calm down, relax and take in the sights and sounds of the most wonderful time of the year… and yet – I know the numbers. I have list after list… I know one of the man-babies will soon be a Marine and may not be home for Christmas for a while. And I know that our foster-love will be leaving us soon… that the lady-baby is getting married… and the increased expenses that seem to grow with every single “Just one more quick trip…”

I am not here to chastise you or give you insider secrets on how to enjoy the season.

But I am here to silence a voice I have battled for years.

You’ve done a great job. If you spent too much, God isn’t mad or “gonna show you” this year. That is a lie from the pit of hell.  If you didn’t have enough, it was not an object lesson from Him. If you chewed your nails off in line at Walmart or sat in your car and cried, He was there with you… not to condemn but to comfort.

Which of you moms who have worried over a detail this Christmas would break a child’s leg or take a sledge-hammer to their bike if they took an extra cookie from the cookie jar?

Which of you would give a snake to a child who asks for a fish or a stone to a child who asked for bread?

God’s name is Mercy.

He is all good.

Yes, there are natural consequences to poor planning and overconsumption. But no, there is no wrath.  He came to heal, bind up the broken, and give you peace that surpasses ALL UNDERSTANDING.  You may be convicted but you are never condemned.

[clickToTweet tweet=”He came to heal, bind up the broken, and give you peace that surpasses ALL UNDERSTANDING.” quote=”He came to heal, bind up the broken, and give you peace that surpasses ALL UNDERSTANDING.”]

This year for Christmas the greatest gift is Jesus, but you and I both know there is little time to ponder the baby in a manager. There are cookies to bake, carols to sing, and presents to wrap. We make the magic happen… and He never leaves or forsakes us.

Stop beating yourself up.

Stop waiting for Him to teach you some harsh lesson.

Start right now… BELIEVING HIM.

Believe there will be enough. Trust Him to show you how to get it done or let it go.  Lean into Him in line at Walmart, or on the bathroom floor while you sob and eat two more sugar cookies.  No matter the state of your marriage, your juvenile delinquents, your deployed baby or husband, health, pant size or the tally in your checkbook… He has done the work, you need only BELIEVE.

Yes, you create the magic… He works the miracles.

The blood worked.

Grace is the consequence.

Eternity is the prize.

Merry Christmas!

May your floors be sticky and your calling ordained.  Love, Jami

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11

Have you read TIPS FOR BETTER PARENTING??

You might also like: The gift I refuse to give my children this year…

PREORDER KELLY BALARIE’S BOOK FEAR FIGHTING TODAY!!!!

 

 

 

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29 Comments

  1. This year, I put out about 1/3 of the normal decorations and the house still looks nice. Each year I do something else to simplify. It has been a journey though for this recovering Christmas Lunatic. Thanks for being transparent that you are normal and frazzled like the rest of us. Merry Christmas my sister.

    1. jami_amerine says:

      Merry Christmas! Much good tea and love in the year to come my wordsmith sister…

  2. Carolyn says:

    Wow. Just wow. “You may be convicted but you are never condemned.” So many people walk through life feeling the condemnation, confusing it for conviction. So much truth Jami. Feel the conviction, turn from it, shake off the conviction and go on living life…knowing full well the conviction will come again. Because we’re sinful and need a Savior. Daily. Sometimes hourly. Happy Christmas darling girl. ❤

    1. Carolyn says:

      Obviously I meant shake off th condemnation but I was too busy counting the packages under the tree to make sure everyone has the same amount and missed the typo!!

      1. jami_amerine says:

        Bahahaha!

  3. Oh, girl. I needed this today. Christmas is my favorite time of year, but it is exhausting nonetheless. No judgement, just love for all the mamas doing everything they can each year to fill the day with magic. Have a blessed Christmas.

    1. jami_amerine says:

      You too friend.

  4. I read this on this Christmas Eve and found the Luke 11:11 verse of which the Holy Spirit had reminded me earlier this week. As usual, money is tight. We keep Christmas simple yet I yearn to be able to splurge on a few extra luxuries like treats, family movie…My kids will all be very happy with their gifts (even my man baby) but it’s not how I wanted it to be. So I wrestle….and am reminded that God is giving them way exceedingly more than what I am giving them. Nothing on Earth compares. Now if I can just rest in that truth…..

    1. jami_amerine says:

      Blessed rest friend and Merry Christmas!

  5. […] This post originally appeared at Sacred Ground, Sticky Floors. […]

  6. Crying again! Then I try to wipe my eyes with the same hands that cut onions (OWW) at 8 am this morning to make the homemade calzones that we will be eating tonight with homemade pizza dough after I make the homemade yeast rolls and stress out about why my 19 year old didn’t come home last night (apparently he did tell me he was spending the night at a friends) and why oh why is my 23 year old still in bed when she should be at work!! We make the magic-it is true. And we worry about all kinds of things that 5 minutes from now we find out wasn’t even an issue. Slow down and enjoy the season-I’m trying :). Thank you for speaking Gods truth. Your words always hit the mark. Have a blessed Christmas!

    1. jami_amerine says:

      Merry Christmas! (And yum!)

  7. Dawn Doty says:

    Jami,
    I want to thank you for being open and vulnerable and for holding out love and grace! I enjoy your blog and I was hooked with the post about: paraphrasing “to my kids, I love you but your not that great”. I am quite a bit older than you but I have been through many similar situations in my life. I called my growing up sons “man child”, I did foster care for five years and adopted one of my foster children, bringing the total up to 5, two of my sons were Marines and that counts for suffering through 3 war zone tours. They are all grown now and with blended families I now have 14 grandchildren. So here’s some hope in your now hectic life: it does settle down. Some. We are about to change our geography and put ourselves back in the frey of lots of family close by, I am looking forward to it, but I am pretty sure I will miss the solitude. So on a Saturday morning I am sitting in bed, writing a note on your blog, and drinking coffee. That will likely change with the new geography, but my calling IS ordained! I am a grandma AND a dyslexia therapist after going back to school at the age of 60! All those who call themselves “a child of the King” get to keep their ordination (if they choose to accept it) until the last breath. Merry Christmas, Jami, and thanks for sharing your life! And don’t forget to “calm down Missy”!!!

    1. jami_amerine says:

      Merry Christmas … my soul sister. ❤

      1. Susan Fiala says:

        Jami,
        Wow! I needed to hear this. Back to school at 60. I’m 50 and been thinking I shouldn’t go back.
        You have been an encouragement!
        Thank you!

        1. jami_amerine says:

  8. Tamatha says:

    Perfectly said. Exactly what I was thinking and just couldn’t put into words. Thank you for the reminder of His Grace.
    Merry Christmas!

  9. Thank you for this!! My hubby is on a remote tour with the AF. My 4 kids and i are sitting alone in a base house far from family, and i can’t tell you how many times I have threatened to “cancel Christmas.” Your post was like putting soothing salve on a burn. It took the pain away and helped me focus on what is truly important. Merry Christmas!

    1. jami_amerine says:

      Merry Christmas… you got this sweet mom! Love on those babies.

  10. Glenna McKelvie says:

    I try every year to give to Toys for Tots (big time) Salvation Army… and many charities. This Christmas, with a broken ankle it didn’t all get done and God reminded me I was covered by His grace and I was not His only hands and feet…thank you, Sweet Savior.

  11. Susan Fiala says:

    Oh.. My. Gosh. You have no idea…….Thank you!
    Merry Christmas!

    1. jami_amerine says:

      Merry Christmas

  12. You just say the right thing at the right moment! Thankyou and Praise God! I nearly cried Christmas morning in the frantic rush to get to Church. Of course the children just want to play with the newly acquired stuff. We made it to Church only half an hour late and when we were stopping for fuel and much needed coffee after the morning crazy, my card didn’t have any funds! Because I’m not technologically advanced I drove back home to my computer to transfer funds. Aaaarh! Breathe again! I turned a blind eye to the child that was using her newly acquired lip gloss like kiddy heroin and the baby doll weeing everywhere. I had a moment Christmas morning where I wondered if I’d given the ‘Fab 4’ enough and after the clean up, slapped myself in my mind for ever entertaining that thought.
    It poured with rain and I felt exhaustion like I haven’t in awhile but we made it and as I was nodding off last night I thought Phew! it’s over.
    I really do like Christmas and I know Jesus loves me, but just for a moment I’d love to just do ‘nothing!’

    Merry Christmas to you and your family.xo ( I’m so envious of the fact that Jesus never seemed to rush. Lol!)

    1. jami_amerine says:

      God bless you … praying you get a nap love.

  13. Heather says:

    So glad to know I’m not the only one battling these emotions and the guilt that comes from having them. Thanks so much for the pat on the back and the freedom of the Gospel.

  14. “and the whimsical baskets I will fill with semi-homemade treats for neighbors who called the police on us twice in the last year”
    I needed to read this. We are foster/adoptive parents of many, several of whom exhibit over-the-top behavior and then like to “entertain” the neighbors with stories of our “abuse” of them. I feel so strongly the disdain and flat-out dislike of our neighbors. Any attempts I have made to visit with them have been met with coldness and the silent treatment, no doubt the result of our all-too-believable and charming cherubs. To make treats for these people seems like more than I can do. Yet, I read your example and determine to try. Thank you!

    1. jami_amerine says:

      Merry Christmas!

  15. […] “Mom,” he yawned. “What’s dat smell I smell wook like?” […]

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