Halloween has passed and the holiday season seems to instantly be in full swing. Retail stores are decked in their festive best and I’ve heard no less than 173 radio commercials for early Black Friday sales. Some of my favorite Instagrammers have not one but multiple Christmas trees up and decorated already.
It is easy to get overwhelmed with it all. The decorating, the gift-giving, the influx of social obligations, not to mention the extra time spent with and traveling to our relatives that may or may not bring out the best in us. And let’s not forget one of my least favorite scenarios this time of year…receiving an unexpected gift from someone that you didn’t buy a gift for. Isn’t that just the most awkward thing? *shudders* I hate it!
As a wife and a mom, most of the extra responsibility of the season falls on my plate. My husband usually offers an idea or two as far as gifts for our kids but the rest of it is all me. I’d like to think that over the years, I’ve honed my skills for managing it all while still being able to enjoy this time with my family.
Defining what “it all” means has been the key. The winning ticket. The answer you’ve been waiting for.
I’m going to reveal my secret.
This is gold.
And could solve your holiday woes.
You do not have to do it all.
Read that ^ again.
This is your permission to ditch the holiday things that don’t make you happy or that cause you unnecessary stress.
I know that you know that you’re an adult and you have the free will to make your own choices. And that you don’t need my permission for ANYTHING. Yet, how many of us pile onto our plates until it has spilled over onto our shoes and dirtied our floors and left us with another mess to clean? (So now we have a figurative mess on top of the literal mess!)
Why is it that we feel like we have to have piles and piles of the most perfect gifts under the tree and fourteen different types of homemade Christmas cookies? Coordinating outfits for the family for each event from now until New Year’s Eve? Christmas cards and the boatload of postage money that goes along with them? Pinterest-worthy teacher gifts? Taking the Polar Express train ride and attendinng tree lightings every year?
Whether it’s because these are things you’ve always done or you feel pressure from your coworker or your sister or your mother-in-law, I want you to stop. I’m begging you to stop. Think about why you’re doing what you’re doing and if the answer is not “because it brings me immense happiness,” then I want you to strongly consider pulling an Elsa and let it go! And do it without guilt because ain’t nobody got time for that this year.
Guard your energy and your time like a sentry and don’t let anything pass the gate unless the joy it brings you far outweighs the burden it carries. Your children will have amazing memories of a simplified holiday season, I promise. Chances are they’ll enjoy having a more relaxed and less overloaded mama more than some of the activities and fluff that we sometimes convince ourselves is necessary this time of year.
And please, be sure to reserve time to pop in your favorite holiday movie and share a fuzzy blanket and some warm cocoa with the ones you love.