Thanks for sharing your story, Joanna. It was beautifully written.
Shh, I think you know how much I admire how far you have come. I understand your anxiety about wanting to have a peaceful holiday, alone with your girls, uninterrupted by drama. You certainly deserve it! I had always been with my parents and siblings each christmas, spending the night on christmas eve, until the girls came along. I wanted to start our own tradition of waking up and spending the morning together, without the chaos of, like, 10 other people...just the three of us. It is so nice.
This year I have been making attempts to "slow down" a little. I am not very successful most days, but it is something I strive for. That being said, and this may sound trivial, but I have told my girls that this year we are not going to rush through the gifts. We are going to take turns opening a gift each, and give proper time to appreciate the moment and the person who gifted. Take a picture or two, enjoy the screams of joy and delight. I know this will be hard for my 5 year old especially, but patience is a wonderful skill to learn, as is learning to savor a special moment that makes a memory.
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