I’ve been feeling it for a while, the pull to do less. It started as a whisper this summer when I did nothing with our girls. No planned activities, just freedom to be and do what we wanted to do. But ever since then the whispers have grown louder. And now with the holidays upon us, my body is screaming at me to SLOW DOWN.
Which is laughable, right? Because it’s the holidays. And we have thousands of events, and presents to buy and wrap, and baking, and all the things that in theory sound like fun… but they’re exhausting.
And coupled with all the things are all the expectations. Not the ones our kids put on us. Not the ones our husbands put on us. But the ones WE put on OURSELVES.
We have in our minds what needs to be the perfect Christmas or Hanukkah, but in reality, we are killing ourselves. We are bending over backward, squeezing 19 pounds of crap into a 5-pound bag, and in the process, we aren’t enjoying what the holidays are meant to be about.
Spending time with our friends. Enjoying baking cookies together. Hanging out in our PJ’s watching thousands of cheesy Christmas and Hallmark movies. Having a cup of tea at 11 a.m. just because we need to put our feet up and enjoy the sparkle of the lights on our tree.
So I’m asking everyone to consider what it is you can take out of your “holiday schedule” to make it easier? Is it buying or catering dinner instead of cooking it? (The horror!) Is it not having coordinating wrapping paper and bows for each individual person? (True story) Is it just letting go and surrendering to whatever is to come?
It’s not easy, to give up our dreams, ideas, and expectations of a magical Christmas morning, but the reward is worth it.
So this holiday season I’ve declared we’re not doing “literally nothing,” but we are doing LESS. So much less. We are saying no to things that don’t serve our family needs and saying yes to ourselves.
Because this is all we have. These days with our kids are flying by, and who knows how many more magical Santa and Elf filled years we have left. So let’s stop, breathe, savor, bask, enjoy, and de-stress this December.
Santa doesn’t have to wrap every gift. (Bows are just as awesome.)
And cards can be sent at New Year’s or forgotten altogether.
But the one person we can’t forget this year is ourselves. Because as a friend said to me recently, taking care of ourselves IS taking care of our kids.