I have a tendency to get pretty wound up during the holiday season. Stressed out. Some (like my hub) might even say bitchy. Not because I don’t like the holiday season, but because I love it.
I love how the world turns into a sparkly paradise of glimmering lights at night.
I love how cozy my home looks when the Christmas tree is up and the decorations are hung.
I love how delicious the air smells when the oven is bursting with sugary goodness.
I love how even the hippest radio stations let go of some of their frigid coolness to play Christmas songs dripping with sentimentality.
I love getting together with family and friends I don’t often see, and watching the pageantry that is the Christmas church service, and getting dressed up for holiday parties, and, and, and…all of it. It really is wonderful.
And because I love those things? I try hard, too hard, to make everything perfect.
I wrack my brain and overextend my wallet to find the perfect gifts (and I always end up getting some of it wrong).
I bend over backwards trying to fit in visits to each and every family member and friend, and am often reduced to tears by my inability to make everyone happy.
I slave over the house, the tree, the oven…all in an effort to make sure everyone else has a great Christmas.
By the time it’s all over, I generally have a cold sore the size of Mt. Everest, a migraine the size of the Milky Way, a stomach that’s tied in knots and a husband who’s begging me to just. calm. down.
In short, by trying to make everything about the Christmas season perfect, I ruin it for myself (and sometimes those around me).
But you know what? It doesn’t have to be that way. I don’t have to be that way. And this year, I’m not going to be that way.
I don’t have all my Christmas decorations up (and I probably won’t get them all up). And that’s okay.
I don’t have $5678342890893734089 to spend on Christmas gifts. And that’s okay.
I don’t have time to bake six different kinds of Christmas cookies. And that’s okay.
I don’t have the ability to be in six places at once, or the energy to put in 18 hour days of visiting, so I won’t be able to see everyone on my “must visit” list. And that’s okay.
I’m not going to stress about those things. Because when I get too wrapped up in all that stuff? I risk missing truly magical moments like this:
This year, I’m keeping Christmas simple. Just the way it’s supposed to be.
This post was inspired by Mama Kat’s Writing Workshop.