Frayed edges: the reason for the season

Hi. It's me. Your every day mom trying to survive the holiday season!

I'm doing what everyone is doing right around now. Running around the house like an absolute maniac, trying to squeeze out the last drop of holiday cheer left in me. Decorating, helping plan class parties, teacher, friend and family gifts, planning ahead for the 3 week vacay everyone has coming up and so on. You know. Losing my shit, in general. Ho Fucking Ho. I see you, mom's losing shit. We all are.

...But then I stop. I stop and take a second to look over our Christmas tree that our dogs and boys have been lovingly rearranging for us, and see my favorite "ornament".

This ragged, tattered, torn and for all intents and purposes, menial fabric bow stares me directly in the face. It is my favorite Christmas ornament. I will never replace it, it is invaluable.

This bow came off of a box of your standard shatter proof ornaments found at a local Big Lots- circa 2007. It stands before us 12 years young.

That year, we could hardly afford a tree. We could hardly afford ornaments. We could hardly afford top ramen. But we did our best. We had our health, we had our love and we had a roof over our heads. That was all we really needed.

I carefully cut apart the ribbon from around the ornament box and tied about a dozen tiny bows on our little tree to make up for the gaping space available. This bow, is the only one that remains.

I have saved this bow, all these years. Every year, when trimming our tree, this bow continues to be my favorite to lovingly place, in just the right spot. Every year, our children bring us more ornaments to fill our tree, no matter how big or how small, it is a perfect accompaniment. This bow has seen a lot of good and bad years.

This bow reminds me of how hard we have had to work to get to where we are today. It's frayed ends remind me that no matter the obstacles (and there have been many) it is still here. Next year could be better, it could also be worse. But the bow will still be there. Waiting to remind us about what's important.

This bow is not the most expensive, shiny, fashionable or fabulous ornament on the tree. But it's story is worth more than gold to me. Every time I bring out our ornament box, or walk past our tree, I'm given a chance to reflect and be grateful. I'm given a chance to STOP and remember how lucky I am to have so much and so little. I'm given a chance to remember the good, bad and ugly, and I'm given a chance to know that I can embrace the next year, and make it what I want it to be.

This bow is far and wide my favorite holiday tradition. Our boys know about this bow and it's story, and they are just as excited to find the right spot for it, year after year. I love that the most.

This season can be tough. Embrace it and make it your own, start your own traditions to look forward to- they don't have to look like anyone else's. They just have to make you happy and thankful to be here.

That is the reason for the season.