I'm usually pretty stressed out at Christmas. Anyone else with me?!?
We have this self-inflicted and society-perpetuated pressure to completely redecorate our homes, buy the perfect gifts and then wrap those perfect gifts with perfect bows, make cute homemade goodies for our kids' class parties, give lavish teacher gifts, attend a bazillion events between work and personal parties, church, school and community events, wrap our houses and yards with lights and greenery, and all while smiling beautifully for the camera to send the most amazing Christmas card to (or post the most amazing Instagram photo for) people we hardly ever see.
One of my last posts on this blog just happened to be a year ago (yes, I know... that was a long time to go between posts) and it was about the holidays and grief. Sadness and the holidays is a whole other topic - but definitely a HUGE contributing factor to a
I did not want my holiday season to be filled only with grief this year, so I took action to make it different.
This is where I'm suppose to share my wisdom and tell you how to turn Stress-mas into Merry and Bright Christmas... Disclaimer, I am not a professional.
For me, making Christmas Bright all started with Thanksgiving (literally, the holiday - not the state of being thankful, though I am that for this season too). This year my husband and I decided to take a break from Thanksgiving. We boarded the dogs and packed our little family and went to St. Louis, Missouri. Why St. Louis?
As you can see we really enjoyed the hockey game. My youngest was in rare form...
We spent our Thanksgiving together. Setting our own manageable schedule and enjoying some family time. We swam at the hotel indoor pool, ice skated in the park after the Thanksgiving Day parade, ate pizza - twice, saw the arch and contorted our bodies through crazy ridiculous ladders, mazes, tunnels and other various tight spaces at the City Museum. (Note: if you've never been to the City Museum, that place alone is worth the trip!) We ate Thanksgiving breakfast and lunch at the hotel, and ventured out to Maggiano's for Thanksgiving dinner. Followed by a drive-thru light show.
I even snuck in a trip to IKEA all by my self [insert happy dance!]
Now I don't want to skip out on Thanksgiving traditions every year - we do love our families and spending time with them. But sometimes you have to say "no" to what others want for you and "yes" to what you know is best for you. And this year, this Thanksgiving, this time - getting away from it all was best for our family and quite honestly, reset my entire mindset for the whole holiday season.
This Thanksgiving gave me some time to breath. Some time to relax. Some time to be silly and wear knee pads and a head lamp out in public and crawl around tunnels with my kids. And this Thanksgiving helped me be thankful for the next season coming - Christmas.
Guys, it's not too late to say yes to a Bright Christmas!
You still have time to make this holiday one filled with all the things you love - not what others love for you. Build some space in your Christmas holiday for nothing... Or for something you know you'll enjoy. Make time for the "want tos" instead of "have tos."
Instead of forcing the kids to go stand in line for an hour of "making Santa memories," chill out and watch a Christmas movie and order pizza. Or if your kids really want to go stand in line for an hour to see Santa, forget about making that gingerbread house from scratch and hack that sucker up (WhatsupMoms has some great gingerbread hack tips by the way) to make some time for what is important to you.
I've already taken one event off our list for the weekend because I want to continue to feel relaxed and Christmas-y all the way through. I felt it was getting too full, so I said no to one event and it feels GREAT! So, what do you need to say "no" to to make room for what you really need? What can you eliminate to make time for your best Christmas yet?
I pray this Christmas is merry and bright!
Wife, mom and full-time marketing pro. Diet coke addict. Auburn fan (and alumn). Christian - striving to comprehend grace.