You know that saying "No good deed goes unpunished?" I really don't care for it. Especially when it ends up being true.
I am all about being organized for Christmas. I printed out a planning guide. Mike and I made a budget, taking into account every possible holiday related expense. I've had homemade gifts planned since early October, some of them already made. I made a gift list, detailing every purchase, down to what would go in the stockings. I was pretty pleased with myself, patting myself on the back for what a stress-free holiday we would have.
Last night, while Mike and Elena were at the movies, I spread my Christmas planner out on the table, filling in some details on the holiday calendar. I got distracted by a phone call, and then a few minutes later Mike and Elena walked in the door. Elena sat next to me and we talked in detail about the movie.
I'm not sure when it hit me that she was distracted, looking at something rather than answering my questions. Mike and I both realized it at the same time – she was staring at the Christmas gift list, and had been for a few minutes.
Every single thing we planned to buy her was right there, before her eyes. Even (somebody please hold me) the gifts from Santa. I gasped, and flipped the sheet over. She stared at me for what seemed like an eternity, her eyes pleading with me that she didn't just see what she thought she saw. And then she cried. And cried and cried.
"Christmas is ruined! Now I won't be surprised!"
Now, I've had a lot of moments as a mother I'd like to forget. I've had what I consider to be some pretty epic mom fails. This makes them feel like little blips on the radar, akin to ordering chocolate milk when your kid wanted lemonade. I feel absolutely horrible.
Mike and I got her settled down. Really it was Mike. I was pretty useless, too busy beating myself up for being so careless, and yet so damn organized. We talked about how there will still be surprises, and how Christmas isn't only about the presents.
But yeah, when you're eight? It pretty much is about the presents. It's about the magic and the surprise and Santa. I know it will all turn out ok in the end. She'll be fine, and we are blessed to have these kinds of "problems" to deal with, versus wondering how we'll put food on the table let alone Christmas gifts.
But for now I still feel awful, like I ruined Christmas and then went out and kicked some puppies for good measure. So be honest with me, what would you do now (taking into consideration that the majority of gifts have already been purchased)? We're gonna have to buy this kid a kitten, aren't we?
Today I Gave: Away my child's Christmas innocence!! I kid, kind of. No, today I let Mike sleep in. He's had a horrible time lately being able to sleep in. His body just wants to wake up at 6:15 like it's a work day. This morning I made sure to hop out of bed at the first sign of Eli stirring, and turned on as much white noise as possible. He made it until nearly 8 a.m.
Today I Received: The gift of forgiveness. I don't know if Elena's really over it, or if she's just putting on her game face for me. She knows I'm so upset about the whole situation. She didn't say a word today and was as chipper as ever. We spent some time alone together this evening, browsing at the bookstore. It was nice to hang out and just listen to her chatter away. She's a good kid, that one.