The not so Merry Christmas confession

image courtesy of

If you were to revisit posts I’ve written in past years around this time of year, the majority of them would be brimming with Christmas spirit. Like the song says, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year”, right? Right?

Well, I’m coming clean. For me, it’s really not. Oh, it’s my fault. I allow all the things that shouldn’t matter much matter much more than what should. Take teacher gifts, for example.

Earlier this week I purchased what I thought would be great gifts for both of my daughter’s teachers–Starbucks gift cards with cute little Starbucks coffee cup ornaments. Teachers like coffee, right? The only problem with these gifts was that I failed to ask my daughter what she wanted to get for her teachers, and she had very specific ideas about said gifts. Neither of which involved coffee.

After a few tears and gnashing of teeth from both involved parties, it was off to the mall for a Bath & Body Works gift for one teacher and Walmart for an action figure for another. We only lacked one small gift to include with the action figure. A gift that needed to be made with supplies not readily available at Walmart, the mall or at home. With my stress level high, I dropped off my daughter at home so she could eat dinner and I headed to Michael’s Arts and Crafts. I found what we needed, drove home, gave the supplies to my daughter and left again for praise team practice. I arrived home after ten and immediately went to my daughter’s craft table to check on the progress of the project. It was incomplete and my daughter was in bed. So I did what any involved, slightly perfectionist artist/mother would do. I finished it.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

The next morning I stood in the kitchen with the completed gift awaiting praise and gratitude from my daughter for finishing it for her. What I got instead was anger from her for not allowing her to do it herself.

More tears and gnashing of teeth from both parties. Feelings hurt. Apologies given and accepted. Real, honest heartfelt apologies. Breaking through the veil of you need to be happy because it’s Christmas feelings to the real stuff. The love we often take for granted. Another bittersweet Christmas memory for the books. I think it will be more sweet than bitter in the remembering.

Oh, the last final gift?

Marcel the Shell

What’s that? You don’t know who Marcel the Shell is?

Only the cutest shell EVER!

P. S. – Marcel was a big hit at the class party.

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12 Responses to “The not so Merry Christmas confession”

  1. James Williams December 16, 2011 at 9:32 am #

    Christmas bothers me for many of the same reasons. The full calendar is one of my main ones. Seems that the kids’ schools, as well as friend of ours, feel the need to have Christmas-themed parties, cookie exchanges, office Christmas party, etc., and the result is that we don’t have many evenings or Saturdays where we can just be home. I fail to see how God is glorified in this.

    Some people are depressed at Christmas, because of some loss in their life. Although I should be able to relate (My father committed suicide on Dec 22, 2000), I can’t. But I do feel for them.

    When it’s all said and done. I kinda wish man hadn’t decided to invent the holiday called Christmas. I’m all for Jesus being born and all. Just don’t like the way it’s being celebrated.

  2. Jeff December 16, 2011 at 9:45 am #

    Sarah struggles big time with the holidays. If you were to press her for a specific reason, she’d admit that she doesn’t know. She’s never known. She just struggles with her depression more from Thanksgiving till Christmas. I personally think it’s the people. She’s not a people person, and having a lot of people in her space and business gives her anxiety. January 2 is the most wonderful time of the year, because she’s able to calm down after that.

  3. Michelle DeRusha December 16, 2011 at 12:12 pm #

    You are a good mama, lady! And that Marcel thingy?…. such a cute voice!! I am in love!

  4. Jason Stasyszen December 16, 2011 at 12:35 pm #

    With the kids, I know the feeling. You try to help, but it doesn’t always work out so great. 🙂

    I’ve heard of Marcel, but never seen it. That is great! “Oh God, I can smell his face.” I laughed so hard.

    • katdish December 16, 2011 at 1:21 pm #

      Yeah, Jason. That always cracks me up.

  5. Jason December 16, 2011 at 4:00 pm #

    Love the Marcel you made. 🙂

  6. Helen December 16, 2011 at 9:48 pm #

    Marcel is adorable.
    You are a great mom. Someday she will understand that your intentions were to make her happy. Someday.

  7. Louise G December 17, 2011 at 7:45 am #

    Marcel the Shell — brilliant! Amazing how such a simple thing can evoke such emotion — like I have one regret, I’ll never be able to own a dog and then, Alan appears, the little lint piece that he is.

    So cute.

    As to the teacher and school and trying to finish it to help — been there. It does get better. Hugs. (you are a great mother)

  8. Larry Hehn December 17, 2011 at 5:19 pm #

    I love how you even added the piece of lint tied to a hair – that is an awesome job! I’ve now added one of those to my Christmas list. Marcel rocks!

  9. karenzach December 20, 2011 at 9:57 am #

    I cannot believe I just spent 10 minutes of my rapidly evaporating life watching a shell in pink tennis shoes talk. My favorite line? “Guess why I smile a lot? ’cause it’s worth it.”

    Not to get all Osteeney or anything of that nature, but it’s so true.

    We will never regret the times we spent smiling.

    Unless, of course, it’s after we’ve said something smart-mouthed to the cop at the driver’s side window.

    • katdish December 20, 2011 at 10:01 am #

      Wasn’t that adorable? Love Marcel.

  10. jake December 23, 2011 at 1:43 am #

    “We don’t fight unless we’re provoked.”

    Christmas is hard for me. My parents express their affection via gifts and time spent with me— I respond with guilt. It’s fascinating, my father is unemployed this year, after nearly thirty years with the same company… I can promise you that each gift opened on Sunday will make me feel guiltier and guiltier… oh man. Oh Christmas. 🙂

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