I Am Failing At Christmas

I am failing at Christmas.

unfinished Christmas tree

There will be no Christmas Cards sent, cookie exchanges attended, nor thoughtful packages of cookies distributed to new neighbors. No Christmas lights have been hung on our house, or adorable DIY wreath on our door. I only have 3 stockings for my 4 children, and I hate them (the stockings, not the kids). I am failing at Christmas.

Family Photo - Fall 2012

(Wouldn’t this have made a cute Christmas card? oh well.)

Our gifts aren’t all bought and they should have already been mailed off to faraway family in time for Christmas. I don’t even have a clue of what to give them. I am failing at Christmas.

rosette cookies

We missed the local penance services, haven’t been doing daily Jesse Tree readings, or special advent prayers. We have advent candles, but the candles don’t have a wreath. The kids have been watching a lot of TV and I have been crabby. I am failing at Christmas.

Gianna hard at work

I’ve got a backlog of fun posts that I’ve been wanting to share with you, a pattern to pull together before this next born, and no time to sit at the computer. Time is passing quickly and the baby will be here before I know it. I am not ready. I am failing.

missing the mark

You might be quick to point out that I am pregnant with four little kids and we just moved! I say those are this year’s reasons. I had another set last year and another the year before. I have been living in Chaos Mode for the last 7 years and I am tired of telling myself “We’ll do better next year!”

shiny baby belly

So, this is me raising my white flag in surrender. This is me letting go of my expectations so that I can spend the rest of this advent working towards the things that matter. This is me throwing out the garbage to make room for something better… 

berries by Andy Bonjour

O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.

Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Day-spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.

Come.

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19 Responses to I Am Failing At Christmas

  1. Katie December 18, 2012 at 1:29 pm #

    ME TOO. We have a two year old and a two week old, I just quit my part-time job after having the baby, have only 1 of the handmade presents completely finished, can’t find the glitter to make the baby’s stocking, have nothing baked and am completely out of both eggs and the motivation to go buy eggs, and have parked my older son in front of the ipad/cartoons a lot more than I had ever expected to be doing…..just wanted you to know that you are not alone.

  2. Lisa December 18, 2012 at 2:58 pm #

    ok, I just have to quote this: “You might be quick to point out that I am pregnant with four little kids and we just moved” by which you mean you are pregnant, and also have four little kids.

    But initially I read that you HAD FOUR LITTLE KIDS IN YOUR BELLY and I felt SO BAD for you. So, you know, it could be worse, you could HAVE FOUR KIDS IN YOUR BELLY. :)

    In all seriousness this post and the previous comment made me feel a lot better. I have two quilts to quilt and bind, four (more) pajama eaters to make, 5 tote bags and possibly a DS game case to puzzle out and sew. Also, I have an empty (fake) tree up that the cat keeps climbing, zero cookies made and maybe three presents bought? (none wrapped)

    But I refuse to panic. I will save that for December 24th.

    • Jodi December 18, 2012 at 11:25 pm #

      oh, grammar. sigh. :)

      • Amy December 29, 2012 at 11:53 pm #

        Awesome misread.

        If it makes you feel better, I haven’t sent Christmas cards on time… ever. This year will be no exception! So, go ahead and send cards anytime you want. Or don’t. Just so long as you’re having fun.

  3. Martha December 18, 2012 at 3:17 pm #

    Bless you.
    I love the hymn… Perfect.
    I struggle with all the things you wrote about STILL at age 50. I, too, feel like a failure during this season :(
    Somehow, I thought I’d be “all together” by now.
    Why do we put so much pressure on ourselves?
    Oh come oh come Emmanuel , amen

  4. Lydia December 18, 2012 at 3:42 pm #

    I can relate to the crabbiness, the tv watching, the pregnancy, the lack of Christmas cards…

    Some years are like this. And Christmas comes just the same.

    Put your feet up, Mama. You’re doing great.

  5. Susan December 18, 2012 at 3:55 pm #

    Yesss. Letting go is good. Good for you!

  6. Reenie December 18, 2012 at 5:17 pm #

    Great post. Thanks for the reality check on this. I think we all feel like this on a lot of levels– I know I do! And I don’t have 5 adorable excuses that need to be fed, changed, bathed, fed some more, and cuddled. You aren’t failing at Christmas- you are living the call of Christmas in your daily life. Christ came to BE with us. Emmanuel. And you are, in a very real way, His love to those people around you– I should say those incredibly needy people around you. This post is a great reminder to me to continue to strive for that in the details of daily life and forget about the cute wreath ideas and even finding the perfect gift. Thanks for the reality check. Stop beating yourself up. Rejoice for He comes!! Love you! Hope to get a chance to see you and the people sometime when you’re next in town 😀

    • Jodi December 18, 2012 at 11:19 pm #

      Thanks, Reenie. I had completely lost sight of what the whole point of the season was. I am refocusing now. :)

  7. jami@ An Oregon Cottage December 19, 2012 at 1:50 am #

    oh, sweet Jodi, I feel for you..just everything. make Christmas your own and you’ll never fail :) refocusing is important – you’ve hit the nail on the head. Embrace your family and love Jesus, yes, yes.

  8. Suzanne December 19, 2012 at 6:55 am #

    If you say you’re failing at Christmas, then doesn’t that mean the goal would be WINNING at Christmas? Let’s not hate the player (you); let’s hate the game — the consumerification of Christmas (spellcheck is telling me that’s not a real word, but you know what I mean). If you’re failing at buying the right gifts in time, or sending out the expected card, than maybe it’s time to change the way you do Christmas. Think outside the (gift) box. And then you will have more time to focus on the things you really find important about the season. Don’t worry about everyone else’s expectations (I mean extended family; I know you don’t want to let your own kids down). That’s their problem.

    • Jodi December 19, 2012 at 1:12 pm #

      EXCELLENT insight, Suzanne! I don’t even know what winning would look like if that were the goal.

  9. Amy December 19, 2012 at 6:58 am #

    As a mother of only two( 8 and 11) I say let it go. Your child will not be small for long. Stick to the reason for the season and delegate the rest.

  10. Katie December 19, 2012 at 9:28 am #

    Ladies, check out flylady.net. It has totally changed my life and rescued me from CHAOS, especially during the holidays!!

  11. Allison December 19, 2012 at 9:44 am #

    Take heart: you are not alone! Your post is the story of my life (my holiday life). Every year i vow next year will be better…it never is.

    I had a chat with an old college friend of mine the day after Thanksgiving – we are both going to try and not be so hard on ourselves.

    Try it – when you catch yourself starting to yell at yourself in your head stop – just stop. just stop.

    I’ve been doing it – I’ll be honest – i’ve had a few set backs – but not as many as i thought i would have. So There!

    Btw, you’re doing a great job! You are NOT failing!

  12. kelly thompson December 19, 2012 at 12:46 pm #

    love it…one day you will look back and laugh! hopefully!

  13. Betsy January 19, 2013 at 10:51 pm #

    I clicked over from Craftzine, spent little time looking around, found this, and got goosebumpy. A kindred spirit! Blessings to you. I look forward to reading and learning and being inspired. Oops, baby just spit up on the computer.

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