Saturday, December 1, 2012

Forced Fun

This week we decided to break out the Christmas decorations to officially start the season of giving.  Before children, this meant we would turn on Christmas music, light candles and spend the morning thoughtfully placing snowmen, glittery trees and ornaments around the house.  By the afternoon we would sit back and admire our handiwork and settle in for a movie or a nap.  With children, this experience is a bit different.

The bins of decorations were carried in on Thursday night and immediately, I heard squeals of delight.  "Look at that, Mommy! It's a SNOWMAN!!!  MOMMY MOMMY let's decorate the tree then we can put on the window gels and...OOOOOOHHH MOMMY look at that!"  This went on for at least thirty minutes and we hadn't even unpacked a single thing.  I always love their enthusiasm.  I felt a surge of love and hoped that we were creating memories for them.  We put away a few things then went to bed.

The next morning, I was ready to tackle the decorations but they had other things on their mind.  I talked them out of digging in the dirt, playing baseball, setting up a track and blowing bubbles all before 9 AM.  I kept saying, "C'mon guys, let's check out the decorations!  Look how cool!"  But their enthusiasm had waned considerably over night and there were better things to do.  I proposed taking turns.  We could do one thing they wanted to do then come in and do decorations for the same amount of time. They agreed and after a few swings of a baseball bat, we came back in to face the task ahead.

All the things that had seemed so sparkly and magical last night now looked like a scene from the A&E show, Hoarders.  There were eight bins opened up all over my house with bits and pieces of Christmas hanging out of them.  The floor was covered in glitter and sequins (the day after it had been vacuumed and mopped) and I started to feel defeated.  This was supposed to be wonderful - Why did it feel like such a chore?  Why in the world was I making my children decorate?

I decided then and there to let it go.  There will be many years after they are gone when I can decorate in a single morning but I will not be able to hear their unbridled enthusiasm about something as simple as tinsel.  My house will be a wreck for days but it will be filled with a whole new set of things to talk about and discover together.  This is an opportunity to bring joy to their lives instead of forcing fun.  Nothing forced is ever fun.  So here's to a messy house full of glitter all season long and a heart full of gratitude for the ones I love. 

How do you stop yourself from making your children enjoy things that "should" be fun?  How do you enjoy the holidays more now that you have your children?  Comment below to share your ideas!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...