Last week, someone asked if I was “ready for Christmas.” I wasn’t sure how to answer. Was I aware it was rapidly approaching? Yes. Had I finished all my shopping? Almost (one more left!) Were things wrapped and ready to go? Absolutely not. I answered as honestly as I could – gifts were purchased, but I wasn’t mentally present to the reality of Christmas.

This entire year feels like a blur. In early Spring, we moved from our beloved home in Charleston, SC to Wilmington, NC. 6 weeks after moving into our home, we welcomed our first child. In the middle of those things, we continued working/seeing family/attending weddings/everything in between. Christmas feels like it just happened, and no – I don’t feel ready to celebrate it again. I stopped to consider why that may be, and I realized I had placed unnecessary pressure and frivolous meaning on the season.

Our fireplace is not perfectly decorated. Our Christmas cards will likely arrive just after the 25th. We haven’t captured that perfect photo of our daughter with Santa. And we never got around to hosting the “Ugly Christmas Sweater Party” we say we’ll do each year. I don’t feel ready, because I haven’t made it down the “perfect parent checklist,” and as a new mom – I wanted to.

A friend came by recently to snap a couple photos of Hatton for her 6 month birthday. This one image stopped me immediately – my daughter, staring at the sky in wonder, curiosity and amazement. Her gaze captures everything I love about raising a child – innocence, possibility and hope, all wrapped up in one tiny being. She is incredibly able to be in the moment…

This season, I am choosing to stay present and celebrate the True meaning of this amazing time by holding onto that childlike wonder. May each of us pause, take a breath, and reflect on the magic of a tiny babe who came to Earth, pure in love and abounding in hope, for such a time as this.

Happy Christmas season, friends!

Photo courtesy of Meagan Forbes Photography

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