Today is Christmas Eve. In less than twenty-four hours one of the most celebrated holidays will be upon us. It can be “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” but not always. After weeks of anticipation, endless “to do’s,” and more social events than the past eleven months, this cherished holiday can bring about multiple challenging emotions which can be very difficult to manage in the midst of so much jingle jingle.
Many of us strive to have every thing be perfect this year. Is this really the best picture for our Christmas card? Are the lights just right? Or should we add a few more strings? Did I make enough cookies? Will he like that present, or should I return it and find something else? If we leave now, can we make both parties?
Can I really buy dessert for Christmas Eve? Shouldn’t I make something from scratch?
These are just some of the questions that many of us ponder during the month of December. Growing up with Martha Stewart and now being inundated with social media’s endless search of the “ideal” holiday, it’s easy to feel the pressure to create the perfect Christmas. If this makes you happy, that is fabulous. And, if you don’t lose yourself or your holiday spirit in the process, then I would love to high five you and encourage you to keep going! And, please, write a book to tell us how to make this work.
But, this year I decided to wave the white flag… surrender. I love Christmas but I don’t love Christmas Chaos. Sure, it’s easier now that my boys are 22 and 24. I don’t need to hide the Santa paper, shop when they’re at preschool, or disguise my writing on the gift tags. Instead, we only have them home for a few days, and I’m damned and determine not to be stressed out during this precious time with my boys.
This year I’m making sure that the four of us have our time… to be together… to have real conversations… to just be and enjoy each other. Instead of torturing my kids over Thanksgiving for an awesome Christmas card pic (the last one sparked quite an interesting explosion of emotions), I decided to send a card without our picture… and no one seemed to mind. And, with the exception of making chocolate chip cookies for my dad, I didn’t bake this holiday season. My family claims they don’t want the temptation. When there are tins of cookies on the counter, they devour them, only to complain later.
Yet, the most significant way that I’ve surrendered this Christmas time is that I am doing my best not to try to control things. I’ve given up my role as director of my personal Christmas pageant and am working really hard to allow things to flow, not try to project what I envision for Christmas onto my family’s life. It’s almost as if I’ve given the steering wheel to the Universe and climbed into the back seat. It’s a different, new view, but it’s refreshing just enjoying the ride.
Merry Christmas to all!