Friday, December 26, 2008

Holiday Blessings

I guess Christmas is officially over.

Amazing. As crazy as the time leading up to Christmas seems, it seems to come and go in an instant.

December is always a whirlwind...and I know it is that way for most folks. For me December means a lot of juggling between work and my own family life. I work as a social worker at a therapeutic preschool. Our agency works with families that are struggling through poverty to raise their children. Often there has been a generational history of abuse and neglect. I primarily work with the parents, visiting them in their homes, providing parenting support and education.

The closer it gets to Christmas, the crazier my work becomes. Crazier and harder. As you can imagine, the holidays is a difficult time to be in the line of work of "helping others". Stress piles up for everyone and it's hard not to feel that. I try to bring home with me the good stuff...the joy in helping make the holidays a little easier for families that don't have a lot of resources. My hubby and I had a good time playing Mr & Mrs Claus for the families (even if we came home with the flu). It was a tough year for our "Holiday Store" for our families...donations were down, but we managed to serve all our families (our parents get to shop the Holiday store for gifts for their family, no charge).

And while I worked the last few weeks to help "my families" get through the holidays, I was trying hard not to go crazy making Christmas better for my own family. Like many of you, I struggle with the desire to buy the "perfect" gift, decorate my home, bake holiday goodies... And then on top of all that, I'm still trying to make it over to my studio to get some work done.

This year I had a hard time getting it all done in the way I would like. Well, honestly, it didn't happen. I got the tree up just after Thanksgiving, but except for lights, it had no ornaments on it till Christmas eve. It still is not decorated properly. I was shopping up to the last minute. I still have plans to bake some of those holiday cookies.

But in the end, it's all good. I spent Christmas Eve with my kids and hubby. Yes, Santa was very, very good to me (Thank you honey!). In the end, it's all the little things that make the holiday complete for me...The most important thing to me is spending time with my family. My kids relish the traditions that we created as a family...and it's the replaying of those traditions year after year that make my holidays complete. Even if we don't get it all done the way I would like, the fact that we have those traditions and stay true to those traditions--that is what I treasure. My kids are young adults now, juggling their own lives. We are very close, but I know in years to come they may not always be able to spend the whole holiday with me. This year, in fact, my son juggled spending time with our family and his girlfriend's. That was a first for him. I was touched when he called me at midnight Christmas to wish me a Merry Christmas. He sounded a little sad and I asked him what was wrong. He said he missed being home with all of us the whole Christmas. Little did he know that sharing that with me was the greatest gift he could give me.

I feel blessed.

So now that Christmas is over, I can sit back and relax. Thankfully, I get 2 weeks off from my job over the holidays. I have one more week to do with whatever I like. I plan to relax, spend time at my studio, and sometimes do nothing more than watch "stupid" tv. Heaven on earth.

(If you would like to learn more about the agency I work for, you can click on the following link and even watch a little video a local news station did about our agency-- )


Jennie said...

The story about your son brought tears to my eyes. Granted I'm feeling a little extra emo these first days after Christmas, but still. I have a 3 year old, and imagining that she could say that to me one day...well, you said it well. You are blessed.

blackfeatherfarm said...

The holidays don't have to be "perfect" to be perfectly wonderful. Many of us try to do too much, and with the wonderful work you do, a family too, it is a wonder you get throught it at all !