I'm feeling it already - are you? Like that one burned out bulb in a strand of lights you can't find. That sense of time running out before the holidays, when really we've still got 2 weeks. It seems like the public, everyone on social media and that darned perfect friend of yours have already bought, wrapped, and shipped all their gifts. Their houses are gleaming bright, and dozens of cookies have been made and photographed with fabulous lighting and backgrounds.
I'm here to tell you it is really ok if that's not you. I am an organized person, but all that - that's not me either. Let's get real here: what's really important this holiday season?
We are heading out of town a lot this month and resolved to not do the house up with tons of decorations and lights. We've got the basics covered but that's about it. What's important? The kids didn't even notice that I didn't set up the extras this year. It's more me that's disappointed, but when you really think about it - hey, less to clean up after Christmas. It's not so bad after all.
We have skipped a few of our kindness calendar activities due to sickness and soccer and whatever else happens from 3-8pm when time slips by like magic some days, yet totally drags on during others. What's important? The spirit of the idea is there, even if we don't participate every day. The kids get it. They have fun and truly understand giving back to others when we do have the time for the activities.
That fun tummy bug that's been going around has also cancelled a few other events on our holiday calendar. I really wanted my youngest son to go to the Saturday breakfast with Santa at his school but it was not meant to be. I think I was more upset than he was at missing the opportunity for a good Santa photo op. What's important? He had fun at home anyway and didn't notice that he was missing out. I'm sure there will be lots more Santa opportunities and if not, I've got lots of holiday themed photos already taken of him.
My last Christmas card is being addressed today and sent in out into the world, but I didn't hit my usual deadline of the first week in December. I am late. I am never late. What's important? Heck, I did the darn cards, didn't I? Plus I actually wrote something by hand to each and every person, even though it took a little longer, but only because I wanted to. I love giving and receiving cards and the overall mission was accomplished without resentment, obligation, or medication.
Are you noticing a pattern here? The kids are fine. I'm the one setting high expectations of how things should be and noticing when they're "not right." So I'm resolving for the rest of the holiday season to stop trying so hard. The events are there on our calendar and baking supplies are ready to go... but if we don't get to them, it doesn't make the season any less bright. A stressed out mommy, turning Christmas red in the face from frustration might look festive (and all too common at Target this time of year), but it's not exactly the holiday I'm hoping for. So here’s to a joyful, perfectly imperfect, holiday for one and all. May your smile be wide and your patience be plentiful. Happy Holidays!