Please Note: No babies were harmed in the making of this photograph. Emery tried to make a plate of chocolate cookies her first solid food and I wouldn't allow it...thus the temper tantrum. Happier pictures of her first Christmas shoot coming soon to a later blog post. ;D
It was late on a Tuesday night, and I found myself walking absentmindedly through the aisle of Target for the second time in less than eight hours. My first trip that day had gotten too close to lunch time, and in my frantic effort to get home quickly and avoid a meltdown from Emery and/or H, I had left one of my purchases at the store by mistake. I grumbled under my breath about how frustrating it was to have to come back for just one thing, until I remembered that I'd also forgotten to purchase a few additional items on my list and would have had to come back regardless. One of the forgotten items on my list was wrapping paper for Christmas presents. I had looked earlier, but hadn't been able to find any quickly that matched what I currently had, and I wasn't willing to sacrifice the uniformity of my tree by going with something different. As I worked my way into the holiday section, I almost ran into another mom lost in her own train of wrapping paper thought. I apologized for nearly running her over, and she smiled and commented on how she was having a hard time choosing which paper to get. I laughed and assured her that she wasn't the only one, and we both continued on our individual journeys to create our own ideas of the "perfect" Christmas experience. After my encounter with this sweet mom, I looked down at Emery sleeping in her carseat and had to laugh at my own ridiculous tendencies. I've always been one to go a little "overboard" with Christmas; it's my favorite holiday and I LOVE being able to bring as much of the Christmas spirit into my home and family as possible. This year I feel that same excitement times a million, because it's Emery's first Christmas and I want to make sure that she's able to love this holiday just as much as I do and share in all of the fun and tradition. Despite how little of this year's holiday she'll actually remember, I want everything to be absolutely perfect for her, and in that pursuit of perfection can often find myself overwhelmed, stressed, and a bit frazzled trying to get everything to my high standard. I thought of a cute little Christmas book of H's that I'll read to him about a little llama that is insanely excited for Christmas, but gets a little overwhelmed with the excitement and preparation for the big day. When the little llama gets to a point where he can't take anymore of the "holidrama", his mother gives him a sweet little reminder about what the holidays are really about. "Sometimes we should take a rest, and hold the ones we love the best. Wishing, waiting, wanting things, we forget what this time brings. Gifts are nice, but there's another; the true gift is we have each other." I'm a little embarrassed to admit just how much the sweet, simple lesson in a children's book touched me (and even more embarrassed that I'm able to relate more with the kid llama than the mom) but it was a valuable enough lesson for me that I thought I'd pass it along. This year was the first year EVER that I didn't actually go out shopping on Black Friday because I couldn't imagine manuvring the crowds with Emery by myself, and I was surprised with how much I didn't miss it. I spent the day playing with Emery, catching up with Kyle, and making our apartment feel like a winter wonderland. I'm obviously still a huge supporter of all things Christmas related and will continue to keep with all the fun traditions, but am going to make a special effort this year to avoid any "holi-drama" (or I guess I should say anymore holi-drama, because let's be honest, there's already been some or I wouldn't have felt the need to write this post ;D) and spend more time remembering the true meaning of Christmas and dedicating time to those that I love the most. :)
Happy official start to the Christmas season!
I'm Chelsea. I'm a wife, mommy, photographer, and lover of life's little adventures. Join me here to celebrate the beautiful things in people and life.