First, I get it. I was once you, buzzing all over the place doing a zillion things Christmas-y:
taking the Christmas photo
sending the cards
baking & cooking
shopping for all the deals
attending school events, church events, friends events, and family events
planning the gatherings
wrapping until dawn
And this is merely a shortlist of activities that clamor for our attention during the holidays.
Then, one Christmas, I just stopped. Cold turkey; pun intended.
No more photos no more cards no more shopping everywhere just to save a few bucks no more saying yes to every event no more stress about gatherings and no more sleepless nights perusing cyber deals or wrapping into the morning.
You might be wondering if my anarchy caused me to become a scrooge, and the answer is, not at all.
What caused me to become a scrooge was trying to do all the holiday things. The stress dragged me down. I got lost in the hubbub and wasn't as focused on the meaning. I used to think I HAD TO DO EVERYTHING because I believed that’s what all moms of young kids are supposed to do. Everyone else was packing it all in and seemed to be happy, so I told myself I needed to keep up or miss out.
Welp. I missed out anyway.
I missed out on things like peace, gratitude, contentment, joy, and good cheer because I was counting down the days until Christmas was over so my life could get back to normal.
But when I realized I didn’t really have to do any of the things, and that I could choose what mattered to me and my family, joy became abundant.
Now that my kids are grown and gone, I didn’t even put ornaments on the tree. Just lights. And it looks beautiful in its simplicity. I also only decorated one room--really only half of it. And it is enough.
So, to all you busy, tired, and overwhelmed mommas trying to do all the things this Christmas, I’m here to remind you that you don’t have to. (Although I know so many of you do, and you do it well because you love it and it doesn't stress you out. I wanted to be you when I was growing up!)
Just do what you can and only if it’s really what you want. There is no standardized checklist that needs to be completed in order for the holidays to be a “success.”
You are already a success because you love your kiddos. Embrace that gift for every bit that it’s worth each and every day of the year.
This post comes from the TODAY Parenting Team community, where all members are welcome to post and discuss parenting solutions. Learn more and join us! Because we're all in this together.