A very Mary Christmas

Mary started the Christmas season feeling overly burdened by the season, what with being a “Mary” and all. As if sharing a name with the Virgin Mother of the Savior wasn’t enough, her name is also a homophone with the salutation of the season: MERRY.

She makes it look easy, but believe me, it is not.

(Side note, once I took a deep dive into learning the difference between homophones, homonyms, homographs, and heteronyms. If you ever want to talk about this for 20 minutes LET ME KNOW.)

As the Christmas season went on, Mary settled in and started to get really excited about giving gifts. She started making lists of people she wanted to give gifts to, and started planning a unique, homemade gift for each of her (extended) family members and friends. I tried to talk her into one craft and made a Pinterest board of crafts that seemed manageable.

“Let’s make this one craft and give the same thing to everyone!” I suggested.

And that’s the moment that Mary realized that her mother was the actual Grinch Who Stole Christmas.

We settled on one craft for the girls in our family, one craft for the boys in our family, one craft for her 22 classmates, and a craft for her teacher. Full stop, no more crafts, ok, MARY!?

14 heart necklaces, 12 poop emoji key chains, 44 melted crayon trees, and one knitted hat later, Mary was happy. (Then she felt like something was missing, so she made 22 heart-shaped name tags for all of her classmates that said, “Merry Christmas, Love, Mary.”)

I have a very good friend who reads every single blog post I ever write, and every time I write about Mary she emails a response to the post, some version of, “The moment Mary learns about global warming she will solve it because she is AN UNSTOPPABLE FORCE!”

It’s so true, every single time.

You need friends like this, someone who tells you to look up when all you see is a busy month of superfluous crafting that, ultimately, I’m going to have to buy, manage, and clean up. You need someone to tell you to look through all that to the other side. Because you aren’t just making crafts — you’re nurturing a heart that is generous, creative, and beautiful. Today that might come in the form of 44 crayons for her friends, but who knows what all that generosity and beauty will look like tomorrow, or ten years from now.

Actually, I do know what it will look like. Unstoppable.



  1. She seems to be a force to reckon woth! Great story!

  2. Sara January 2, 2020

    Crafting as a mom can seem completely overwhelming, I get it because I feel the same. I love how you have a positive outlook toward something that may not bring you joy.

  3. Amy Gougler January 2, 2020

    What a beautiful heart your sweet Mary has! You are doing good momma. It sounds like you both had a wonderful, giving Christmas season.

  4. Cendu January 3, 2020

    LOL! I love Mary’s sheer will and determination! You’re raising a sweet, kind, considerate child. Good job mama! She must take after you 🙂

  5. Courtney Schweiger January 3, 2020

    This is so good. I love looking up to mamas who’s children are older than my daughter. Thank you!

  6. Tori January 4, 2020

    Mary and I have the same intentions at Christmas. Only mine ends with a bag full of supplies that were never made into anything 🙂 She is so sweet.


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