I saw this post on Facebook and it resonates with me.
We have always kept the holidays simple here at Family of 4. The girls for the first few years, really did not do well at the holidays. If you followed the old blog, you probably remember a few frustrated posts of mine about surviving the holidays. Dave and I felt like zombies when they were over and basically just wanted them to be over and to move on. The last few years the girls have been really into the holidays. They like to decorate the tree and their room trees, make decorations at school, drink hot chocolate, candy canes, Christmas music (started already a few weeks back) and Christmas movies. It's been fun to enjoy the holidays from their perspective and I really am glad we can enjoy them together. That's not to say that their aren't meltdowns or acting out, because, let's face it, while we do enjoy the holidays now, there's always that missing piece that comes with missing another family or feeling you are missing out. I understand that now, having lost my mother, brother and father. So we address it when needed, we allow memories and talking about whatever they want, and we move on.
I have never been one to schedule a lot of activities though. I just have to keep it simple, especially for LGA. She can't handle all that overload. She really needs a very quiet, low key environment. Activities we have done in the past, which have gone over well, have been to ride the Christmas train, see Santa at the local Bass Outlet Store (free if you live near a Bass store), see movies, and bake cookies. These things when scheduled sporadically and then down days in between, have helped us to survive. One year we spent at my friend Kim's and the girls had hot cocoa, candy and were amped beyond belief. I don't remember if that was pre ADHD meds or the meds had worn off, LOL. But we add little things - new traditions - over the years, (this year I think we'll do some sort of Christmas craft), and it seems to work for us. I am not one of those moms who tries to cram it all in and have an overloaded schedule. I just am not really into it and I remember growing up, spending time with my mother decorating the tree, baking, shopping and enjoying time with her. That's what I want the girls to remember. Not that we were rushed doing stuff and getting it all done. I have done the stressed holiday seasons before and I just can't be that kind of mom. But I do admire the ones who can do it. I just decided a long time ago it was not for me. And when the girls were not really into the holidays it was hard to try and do it and not really get any reactions.
On that note, we added another kitten to the mix. I blogged about thinking about it previously. And as most of our pets are rescue, this kitten was also a rescue. She came from a local shelter. I saw her when I made a visit to the new shelter, the one I blogged about where the girls could pet the cats. Well, I saw this sweet white and orange, green eyed kitten there and she mewed really loudly. She wouldn't come up to the cage to see me as the other kittens/cats did, but she sure had a voice. And a purr. The little boy I saw was so sweet, too. So I kept going back to him. But I took the girls to see the kittens/cats yesterday as I figured it would be a good thing for them to do. I had no intentions of really getting a kitten and we looked at a few of them (both of these 2 kittens were gone), and the girls had fun playing with the kittens in the room where they were loose and running around.
We left with a bit of disappointment on the girls' parts. They really wanted to stay longer but I had some errands to run. But I did promise a visit to the local pet store, so we could get dog and cat food. When we walked in, who was in the large cat enclosure but mewy white and orange kitten! The girls were smitten, and she was still mewing from behind the glass. What did it for me was that we would never be able to pet any of the kittens unless we were interested in them. A sales girl said we could pet her if we were 'really' interested in her. Of course the girls begged. So we pet her. And she cuddled, something our other cat does not do. She leaned in and head butted the girls and I as we each took turns cuddling her. I hesitated on getting her and we still had errands to do so we agreed to come back. The sales girl said she could not hold her and the girls were really upset (of course, didn't expect they would be, I know I would have been at their age too). We ran errands we had a rare meal at McD's and the play place (the girls are officially too old for them, all they want to do is play the video games) and then headed back to the pet store. Dave said it was ok but he was not cleaning another litter box (that's what he said about our other cat and I pretty much have had litter box duty except when I can't do it and he has had to). So we decided the girls would need to learn this task as they really wanted the kitten. So now I will have to show two little girls, one of whom gagged the last time I showed her (BGA) how to clean out the cat box. I am glad someone else is going to do it but I wonder how often they will do it or if it will fall back on me. So now we have new kitten and she's a bit feisty than they mentioned on the card they had pinned on the glass. We will see how this goes, but the fact that the kitten went right into LGA's lap and cuddled, and snuggled her, was SO worth it. LGA was in cat heaven. This is what our other cat was supposed to do, but never did warm up that much. So LGA got to have some time in the am before BGA got up, with just the kitten (with my supervision as she's only 8 weeks old) and I, and she was in heaven. I hope it works out as I know that LGA desperately loves cats/kittens and really wanted a friendly cat.
Hope you are all gearing up for your Thanksgiving day tomorrow. We are going out, not cooking. Dave has to work this week and has been working 10 hour days and even went in on his normal day off and has to work the two days after the holiday so he's tired. I will cook a small turkey breast on Sunday. But we may, if he's not too tired, go to see the new Disney "Frozen" movie. It's nice not to have to worry about cooking.
So whatever you do tomorrow, whether you celebrate with family or friends, I hope it's a great day for you. I am thankful for family, friends and health this year. It's the 2nd holiday without my mom and I miss her, but I will remember some of the great Thanksgiving's we had together or with family.
I will NOT be shopping tomorrow as I really do not agree with the stores opening early on Thanksgiving day. I feel everyone should have a day off to enjoy with their family and friends, not having to work that day.
Make those holiday memories, but also try to keep the stress levels low and enjoy the time spent versus what you feel you need to make the holidays be like. I know I will. Have I finished all the shopping, baking, putting up the tree, etc.? Nope. Cause I refuse to put up the tree till after Thanksgiving and it will all get done when it can. Not gonna stress. Rinse and Repeat.........