This damn meme is why I have such a hard time with Christmas .. no one. No one was gathered around my tree. So does that mean I have failed??? Just because yet again, and far too often in my almost 50 year old life, there was no one else around that damn tree, does that mean that I am not loved???

Okay, okay, my husband and two daughters who are far far from no one and yes, yes, yes, I feel incredibly blessed to have been given the privilege of helping them find their way into this world. And just yesterday, as my four year old was giggling, I had one of those ‘imprint this into your mind, Karen, as it will be gone far too soon’ .. as it was with my two older kids who are now teenagers and not prone to giggling fits with mom.

But it’s work damnit. Every freaking day, it’s a ton of hard work. I thought maybe yesterday, as the girls were happily playing with their new toys, I might get a chance to watch Hunger Games. I read the book back when my son read the book in Fourth Grade four years ago, and I’ve been wanting to see the movie since then. Seriously. Since Then.

Of course, as soon as I sit on the coach and turn on the movie, there they are. In the room wanting to watch it. Which of course is not appropriate. I try to get them out of the room, and I also spend about a minute rationalizing to myself well, maybe a 4 year old and a 7 year old can watch a movie where the children are in a game to death .. I could always pause and have them put their hands over their eyes during the bad parts. Yea. Okay, not going to work. I know. So I turn it off and watch Sponge Bob for the six hundred millionth time instead.

Yes. Yes. I have taken it upon myself in that I’m an attached mom. There’s no, it’s 7pm, go to bed, goodnight and then adult time. My husband and I put them to bed, normally closer to 9pm and by that time, lying down with them, there ain’t no getting back up again.

I am also almost 50 for Pete’s sake. Sheesh, I feel for Biblical Elizabeth. I always say that what I lack in energy, I have gained in wisdom. But here’s the thing, when that energy train runs out, it’s OUT. Have you ever tried to push a train? Yea, those are the stops I have come up upon. Extreme exhaustion does really odd things to almost 50 year old bodies.

And thankfully I”m at the tail end of the ‘little one’ stages. With a little bit of regret but mainly extreme gratitude, I’m watching those stages where you have to do everything for those little critters recede down the road.

Thank God. Especially since it’s coinciding with the teen years of my oldest. Now instead of early mornings (which I have actually come to love), I am back to late nights as I automatically wake up from an hour of sleep to check that my teen has made it back home.

Oops I forgot that this is a rant on Christmas not my challenges of raising a blended family of four.

Back to the Christmas thing, is it because I’m unlovable and have failed that I have spent the majority of Christmas’s alone or just with my kids? My mother lives in Texas; I barely speak to my brother who took his kids to Florida. My husband’s family is close only an hour away but that is a whole other story why they are out of the picture … I have spent more than one Christmas eating frozen pizza and watching a movie.

That’s it. That’s the end of my Rant except to add solidarity to those of you out there with no one gathered around your tree.  That does not mean that you have failed.  You know unless you’re a total shit and then you’ve got work to do, get going.

But some of us find ourselves with no one gathered around the tree, just because.  Just because that is the way it is.  There’s no litmus test of worthiness where you get the Norman Rockwell Christmas, but you don’t.

Sometimes it just is .. because this is the life you were born in to.  And this is the way it is.  Not much to do about it, but continue to try and learn the things you were set here to learn and love the people you are supposed to be loving …

And a successful Christmas for me might be that I didn’t give in to the anxiety attacks that I was pretty much having all day long and that my husband, after spending hours making lamb and five side dishes – only to have our daughters sit down and say ‘can’t I have the piece of bread without the mushrooms and other things on it??’ ‘why can’t I have the pasta plain?’ did not lose his shit – well only momentarily.

And maybe just maybe this post is just adding balance that if you don’t have any pictures to put up all over Facebook today of the many people that you had Christmas with, you DID NOT FAIL and YOU ARE STILL LOVED.

Rant Over. Happy Festivus.