For the past few years, I have found myself feeling a teensy bit panicked when December arrives. This did not used to be the case for me. I have always LOVED the holiday season…the music, traditions, lights, baked goods.
But this year, I’m sad to confess that I felt resentful of the holidays approaching. First of all, Thanksgiving was hijacked. Christmas lights in my neighborhood literally went up THE DAY after Halloween. For awhile it seemed my neighborhood was very confused: Santa at one house, pumpkins at the other. What happened to FALL, I would muse while driving by.
And then the advent calendars started popping up. I am partly to blame for contributing to the advent madness since I couldn’t resist buying my good friend Joanna Gaines’ adorable new calendar at Target. I told myself I would do cute things with it (spoiler: I lasted till day 5).
And you guys…the INSTAGRAM REELS. I’ve recently been back on IG (still sparingly), but I couldn’t quite believe how much it’s changed since my 2 year hiatus. The panic set in when I realized all of IG-land had their trees, stockings and cute Target decor up before Turkey day. Mariah Carey was suddenly blasting through my phone while I watched sped-up videos of pretty girls doing cute things to their perfect houses.
And the gift guides…sooooooo many gift guides. I truly love gift guides because they’re extremely helpful and make online shopping a breeze, so I’m not really complaining. BUT. I had to stop checking IG this past week because I would see more gift guides pop up and think to myself: I need to buy more gifts!!! Except that I don’t because I’m done shopping. Budgets were invented for a reason!
Then there’s the parties (kid parties, co-worker parties, church parties, friend parties), the baking, the teacher and neighbor and friend gifts, the elf on the shelf, the fun outings, the millions of advent calendar activities (too many advents), the performances…and all of this expected ON TOP of regular life. I already can’t keep up with work and church and kids and husband AS IT IS.
If Thanksgiving was hijacked by Christmas, Christmas has been hijacked by COMMERCIALISM. And pressure. And keeping up with the Joneses. I’m guilty of all of it.
But the problem is: I don’t bake. I hate crafts. I’m not an extrovert. I don’t want to go caroling (too cold). I couldn’t even IMAGINE sending Christmas cards out this year (something I’ve done almost every year since my daughter was born nine years ago). I’m getting broker by the minute buying things for my kids that they will play with for two weeks tops.
But despite all this, I HAVE STILL GIVEN IN. Or at least, felt bad about myself for not being a better Christmas mom. And I’m so disappointed in myself for this because I know better. But, it’s hard. Hard because I want to be a fun mom. I want my kids to enjoy the holidays. I want to do fun things. I WANT.
It’s just all a little too much for me, and I’m doing my best to still love myself even though I didn’t follow through with my original hopes and dreams to make this December magical. I can’t do it all, and I realized it quick (day 5). So, I’m taking my December back. This is how:
- Not sending out a Christmas card. Not even posting one on IG. Just skipping it all together. Telling myself it’s okay.
- Not delivering baked goods to all my neighbors like I originally planned. My kids can make muddy buddies to deliver in little baggies with me giving directions from the couch. This is to teach my kids the value of kindness and service but mostly because I want to eat muddy buddies.
- Gift cards for teachers. THAT’S IT. No jars full of cute things wrapped in ribbon and lace.
- No advent activities. That calendar is solely there for decoration.
- No friend or coworker gifts. They know I love them.
- Elf on the shelf is NOT being mischievous this year. She’s just moving around the house. If I forget, sorry kids but you were naughty.
- THREE GIFTS PER KID. They will survive.
- My husband and I aren’t buying gifts for each other for the second year in a row. We aren’t really gift people anyway so this is just one less thing to stress about. Take that, Status Quo.
- No parties.
- One fun Christmas outing. Two tops.
Here’s the thing: My kids will be FINE. They will not think about all the things I’m NOT doing (I hope).
They will remember the annual PJ party/train ride we do. They will remember our sweet elf Pixie who moves around the house, and hopefully they will never care that I wasn’t more creative with her. They will see our lights glow each evening thanks to my husband who patiently puts them up each year. They will remember how we snuggled up under cozy blankets and watched Christmas movies with popcorn and hot chocolate. They will remember the Christmas music blaring through the house.
And most importantly, they will know that their mama TRIED. Tried her best to model kindness and service and Christlike charity…not just at Christmastime but all year round. Because THAT’s what I think December is all about.
If you love December and all that comes with it, you go.
But if you’re like me and need to take your December back so that you can enjoy it again– so that you don’t find yourself hyper-ventilating every year when it arrives as you mentally run through all. the. things. you think you need to do to “keep up”–remember, simplicity is not overrated.
And neither is JOY. I’m taking that joy back.
AT LAST SHE SAID IT.
This is gold, friend. So incredibly relatable and honest– and made me laugh, too!!! Thank you for writing ♥️
Amen!!! I feel this way every year! So happy I’m not alone. And you are so right simplicity is NOT overrated. Especially if it keeps us moms sane during this time of year. Love this post Lindsay! Merry Christmas to you and your beautiful family!! ❤️
Thank you my friend! I’m so glad this post resonated with you. Merry Christmas to you guys as well!
So relatable and needed to be said! I cut out some things this year too, like neighbor gifts, all the parties and simplifying teacher gifts. It’s liberating and a great way to refocus on the joy and reason for the season. Thanks for this!