So God Made a Teacher Collection (Sale!) ➔

As much as I hate to admit it, I’m a stickler when it comes to decorations. Once, when my older girls were toddlers, I thought it would be so cute to use their tiny thumbprints as leaves for some fun, Pinterest-inspired canvas decorations for fall. My oldest, in all her creativity, decided to mix her orange, red, and yellow paint all together creating a muddy brown. I scolded her for her creativity. I wanted Pinterest worthy, but looking back, now I just want that muddy, messy picture of sweet, plump thumbprints.

While riding down to the coast with a dear friend of mine who is also a spiritual mother to me, we got on the topic of raising babies. Naturally, I asked the question any young, inexperienced mother asks when they get the chance to pick the mind of an experienced mother turned grandmother.

“If you could go back and change anything you did, what would it be?”

She didn’t hesitate.

“I would let them decorate the Christmas tree.”

I think I may have laughed, but I’m not sure.

She didn’t look over at me. She kept her eyes on the road as she explained.

“I was so particular about the way the ornaments hung that when my girls would hang them I would go behind them and rearrange the ornaments. Eventually, they quit decorating with me. I would ask the girls if they wanted to decorate the tree and they would reply, ‘Why? You’re just gonna change what we do.’ So, if I could change anything, I wouldn’t have been so picky. I wouldn’t have allowed my idea of perfection to ruin a Christmas tradition.”

I sat for a moment as I drank in her wisdom and conviction struck my heart. I was guilty of the same thing.

The difference was I still had time.

I could loosen my tight grip on the garland and allow small hands to hang multi-colored, mismatching ornaments on low-lying branches.

I could say yes to the gaudy, matching Grinch pajamas.

I could sit and take pictures of giddy kids with hot cocoa mustaches trimming our family tree, dancing and spinning around to “Jingle Bell Rock.”

I could smile as they proudly showcased their work of art to every visitor.

So no, I don’t have a magazine-worthy, Pinterest-inspired Christmas tree. But I’ve got happy children.

After all, when I’m gone, my children aren’t going to ooh and ahh over the memory of beautiful decorations. They’re going to remember how Momma took them to Walmart and let everyone pick out their favorite ornaments. They’re going to remember how Momma and Daddy matched with their “cool” Christmas pajamas. They’re going to remember the whole family dancing to Christmas music.

They’re going to remember how Christmas felt, not how it looked.

So relax, momma, Christmas isn’t for the magazines, it’s for the children.

Originally published on the author’s blog

Give your family the gift of a cozy memories at home with our favorite set of matching pajamas. Because Christmas only comes ’round once a year, and the rest can just wait.

Recommendations in this post contain affiliate links. Her View From Home may receive a small commission if you choose to purchase.

Every Time the Doctor Says, “It’s a Girl!” My Heart Grows a Little More

In: Kids, Motherhood
Sisters sitting on park bench

When I’m in the grocery store with my girls, I always get comments. My oldest girls are walking near the cart with my two-year-old running up and down the aisles. “Three little girls! Wow! God bless you, Momma!” Then they look in my cart and see the car seat holding my nine-month-old. “Is that a baby boy in there?” “No, another girl!” I reply. I get a variety of responses when people realize I have four girls under the age of seven. “Wow, you’ve got your hands full!” “Going to try for a boy?” “You are truly blessed—your girls are...

Keep Reading

Raising a Child with a Severe Food Allergy Affects the Whole Family

In: Kids, Motherhood
Little boy looking at ice cream cone

I saw something recently that said, “It’s National Ice Cream Day today!” and I cannot stop thinking about it. Now I know that sounds silly, but as a mom of a child with a severe dairy (and egg) allergy, I must admit at times it makes me sad (and more often jealous if I’m being completely honest) when I know my son is going to miss out on another fun or “normal” thing that other kids his age are experiencing, like actual ice cream and ice cream parties. If I continue to be honest, I get jealous when I see...

Keep Reading

So You’re Not the Fun Parent…So What?

In: Kids, Marriage, Motherhood
Woman reading book while two play in background

I’m not the fun parent in our household. Of course, this comes as no surprise to me but it still stung when my 8-year-old said to me rather bluntly the other night, “Daddy’s way more fun than you.” And while the rational part of my brain knows better than to take this kind of comment to heart, my super-sensitive, highly emotional primitive brain did the exact opposite and ran with it.  Daddy is the more fun parent. I’m the stricter, more rigid, and more uptight parent. I’m not the type of parent who, in the spur of the moment, will...

Keep Reading

Mine Is the Shy Kid

In: Kids
Girl sitting on side of playground

I’m the mom of one really shy child. But not your quintessential shy kid. I don’t mean she is “slow to warm up,” because my daughter might not warm up at all. And I don’t mean that she’s only shy until she gets to know you. There are friends and family members she still hides from or won’t talk to. What I mean is my almost-4-year-old struggles so much with her shyness that it’s hard for her to interact with most people. Especially her peers. I’ve Googled more than you could ever imagine about this topic: How shy is too...

Keep Reading

In This Magical Place Called Kindergarten

In: Kids
Kids at elementary school circle time

It’s hard to put into words what happens in a classroom in the course of a year. Especially a kindergarten classroom. For many children, this is their first experience away from home, from their place of comfort and security—the place where they can always be themselves. But teachers are a special breed—especially teachers of littles. And they step into this substitute role with the biggest hearts and the most love to give. They take this unknown, intimidating place and then transform it into a magical, wondrous adventure. A classroom, a community, a family. A place where these little people can...

Keep Reading

Summer Goes by Too Fast

In: Kids
Boy lying on bench at park, color photo

To my oldest, As our summer vacation nears an end and we begin school supply shopping, I think about all the things we didn’t get to do together this summer. I instantly feel mom guilt. All the plans I had made? Only half of them done—if that. RELATED: Remember When Summer Lasted Forever? All the books I was going to read to you at bedtime? Only a couple short ones. All the creative art we would do? Maybe just one time. The fact is, I let time slip away from me. I was too focused and anxiety-ridden about work, my...

Keep Reading

Going on Family Vacation with Young Kids is Work That’s Worth It

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mom with two young kids on airplane

Our routine will be a mess. Our toddler won’t sleep in a new environment. Our baby needs all of the gear. The flight could be a disaster. I went through a mental checklist of reasons why this kind of family vacation would be hard. It was a pretty convincing list if I’m being honest. I considered throwing a pity party dedicated to the concerns I shoulder as a mother. A few days later I felt a wave of conviction wash over me. I was dreading a trip that was meant to be a blessing to our family. Any kind of...

Keep Reading

I Want To Raise Good Sisters

In: Kids, Motherhood
Four girls sitting on a rock in the forest, color photo

My current dilemma: how to teach four little girls how to be good sisters when I have no idea what I’m doing? I was an only child growing up, and a tomboy at that. It was a lonely, quiet childhood. I remember wishing for a sister, but knowing that with my single mom, it wasn’t going to happen. So, the sister thing is a big mystery to me. I’ve noticed (admittedly with some envy) adult sisters together and their inside jokes, shared history, and language known only to each other. I’ve read about sisters in books. The relationships between the four...

Keep Reading

I Don’t Just Love You, I Like You

In: Kids, Motherhood
Young boy standing at bridge, color photo

My growing child, my heart often aches when I look at how big you have gotten. You aren’t a baby anymore, you’re a whole kid. You are your own person, with your own thoughts and feelings. You have your own friendships, and interests.  Parts of me realize you don’t need me the same, but deep down I know you need me all the same. And I’m realizing, that in all of these changes, my love for you is also a like.  RELATED: Being Your Mom is the Greatest Honor of My Life Because now we can connect in a whole...

Keep Reading

Dear Kindergartner, I’ll Always Remember You This Way

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother and child touch foreheads

The first magical flickers of your strong heartbeat on a black and white screen— the reassuring evidence I needed to know you were gaining strength for this world. My belly grew, and I proudly went shopping for maternity clothes to cover it. I felt the first dances of your little feet, and it reminded me of butterflies taking flight— the movement of a true miracle. I’ll always remember you this way. The sounds of your first cries—music ringing in my ears. You were real, Earth-side, and wanting only to be loved. The softness of your skin, the way you smelled,...

Keep Reading

Get our FREE phone wallpaper to encourage you as the new school year begins

It's bittersweet for a mother to watch her child grow—but you both are ready to soar.