By Paige Tucker

It’s that time of year when children are making their list and checking it – or make that changing it – twice!

Julia Reynolds was three-years-old last Christmas and her little wish list consisted of mostly princess costumes for playing dress-up. If you asked her on the fly what she wanted for Christmas, the two things you would definitely hear: a green Elsa dress and green Elsa shoes. For two solid months, the child told anyone who asked and everyone who would listen that she was getting a green Elsa dress for Christmas. Santa Claus and at least five of his helpers heard her request.

Queen Elsa from Frozen wears a beautiful green dress in a short film called Frozen Fever. Elsa magically creates a new dress for herself and Anna to celebrate Anna’s birthday. It’s not nearly as well-known or popular as the hit Disney movie Frozen, but the costumes and things to go along with Frozen Fever are on the market, because, well, it’s Disney.

In the weeks leading up to Christmas, I followed email tracking notices and peeked in the packages as they arrived before putting them away. I ordered several costumes — Elsa and Anna’s Frozen Fever birthday party dresses, Anna’s coronation dress and her winter dress, to name a few. Like a lot of you, there were days where my front stoop looked like an Amazon warehouse.

Fast forward to Christmas Eve. I gathered all the packages and bags from the various places I’d stashed them around the house and started sorting everything to set it out under the tree. 

For some reason, I couldn’t find the green Elsa dress. I double checked everything then started racking my brain for where I could’ve hidden it. After looking everywhere I could think of, I started searching my emails to see when it was delivered.

Imagine my distress when I realized I never ordered the green dress!! I had checked out so many different options trying to find the perfect one for Julia Reynolds and put many of them in my online shopping cart, but I never clicked purchase.

It was getting late. No stores were open and my husband was frantically calling around. Even if it had been earlier, because this was not a regular Frozen dress, there was no way to get it last minute. This was not happening for Christmas morning.

I was devastated and burst into tears. Now trust me when I say I know this was very much a #firstworld, commercial Christmas problem. In our home, the true gift is our Savior’s birth. But I do love the magic of Christmas, too, and in the moment, I was terribly sad my little girl was going to be disappointed. The one thing she was truly hoping for was not going to be under the tree.

We had gotten her a shiny, motorized Frozen sleigh as her one big gift, so I knew that would be a hit and somewhat of a distraction. But as predicted, within the first thirty seconds on Christmas morning, Julia Reynolds asked where her green Elsa dress was. (Insert Mom-guilt here.)

Thankfully, the sparkly green shoes were there and Santa left a letter explaining that Mrs. Claus had just a few more flowers to stitch on the dress before it could be delivered. Christmas Day was full of joy and smiles, though she did ask a few (hundred) more times when the Elsa dress would arrive before the Prime Fairy delivered it two days later.

I’ve since found a lot of parents have similar stories of Christmas Eve mishaps. The bike came without one of the wheels, the roller coaster had no nuts and bolts, the play kitchen came with 758 pieces and no instructions. And they, too, realized it late on Christmas Eve!

This mama has learned her lesson. You’d better believe I’ll be making my shopping list and checking it more than twice to be sure we’re ready this time around! May this holiday season be filled with more festivity than forgetfulness, more kindness than chaos, and more memories than madness. Merry Christmas!

After twelve years in local news, most recently as evening anchor of NBC 26, Paige Tucker is now a work-at-home mom and freelance journalist. She produces two series for NBC 26 TV, First Responders and 26 Women Today, and you can see those stories on Tuesday nights. Paige and her husband have one daughter, Julia Reynolds, who is three years old.

This article appears in the December 2018/January 2019 issue of Augusta Family Magazine.
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