A Mother’s Fears and Blessings this Christmas

Momservation: I’m squarely in the “Creepy” column on my feelings for Elf on the Shelf.

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So here’s a sad observation:

I realized today during my morning routine of walking the dog that when I hear sirens I get a panicked flutter in the pit of my stomach. There are six schools from kindergarten to twelfth grade less than a mile from my house. And with sickening realization I noticed that my ears and my heart brace to hear if those sirens are heading in the direction to one of those schools.

The saddest thing is—it’s not an irrational fear.

As we sadly commemorate this Christmas the year anniversary of Sandy Hook with another school shooting in Colorado, and with the National Rifle Association clinking their glasses that not even the brutal gun deaths of 20 young children can stop their influence, I mourn the loss of a safe haven that schools used to be.

A parent shouldn’t have to commit to memory what their child wore to school in fear of having to identify them later.

I hate the regular frequency that school shootings have become (October marking another fatal school shooting a few hours away from us in Sparks, Nevada). With each one it undermines my credibility and dilutes the counter-message I use to assure my children that they have nothing to be afraid of when they head off to school.

Now Christmas break means I can exhale for two weeks while I walk the dog instead of holding my breath to the wail of a siren nearing a school.

On a less poignant note, I like to combat fear and anxiety by counting my blessings.

In this time of rampant consumerism I like to redirect myself and my family to what really having it all means. My favorite way to appreciate this is imagining waking up with only the things you thanked God for in your prayers the night before. It helps to focus in on what really matters.

I decided to use the 12 Days of Christmas to help me and my family boil it down to the 12 things that really matter in our lives—instead of 12 things you want, count 12 blessings, God willing, you get to keep.

Here’s mine:

My 12 Days of xmas blessings

(If your gun is on this list—my personal opinion is it’s time to re-evaluate your blessings.)

Below is an empty template if you’d like to count blessings with your family:

12 Days of Christmas blessings template

Merry Christmas.

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