If you’re like me, when mid-November rolls around you start looking at the calendar and mentally preparing for all the holiday “things” that are coming up in December. Before the Thanksgiving turkey is even cleared from the table, you’ve committed to family Christmas card pictures, holiday work parties, school Christmas performances, and church events–all of which will keep you running in all directions. Not to mention, you plan to sew all of the kids pajamas—matching no less, make exquisitely decorated sugar cookies, shop for gifts for all your family and friends, and oh, don’t forget you still need to find time to hide that darn Elf on the Shelf in the coolest places every night. Top it off with working full-time and going about the everyday aspects of taking care of life, and it’s enough to put any mom over the edge.
Every year I end up feeling like I’m spending so much time doing all these things to make sure my kids have the best holiday season ever, that I miss out on them enjoying it. This year, this changes.
I vow to slow down and devote more time to what actually matters. The bottom line is that when my kids are grown, they are not going to remember what gifts they got when they were little, or even all the funny places I hid that darn elf. They are going to remember our traditions and how the holidays felt each year. I want them to remember that we spent lots of extra time doing things as a family, and not that we spent time rushing from one event to the other.
With all the pressure to be the mom that has it all together, it is hard to let go of the little details. Trust me, I know.
So, listen when I say give yourself permission to be less than perfect.
Breathe that in. In doing so, your children will actually enjoy the holidays more. Thus, this year instead of spending hours making sure the sugar cookies are perfect for a holiday party, I am asking my kids to help make them. Not only will this take the stress away of making sure they are the best cookies anyone has ever laid eyes on, I will also be making fun memories with my children. The same goes for decorating the house–making that new wreath for the front door, or making Pinterest-inspired Christmas gifts for my child’s teacher. I am determined to get the kids involved.
For you, this may look different, but simply look for other ways to make time to just be with your kids and not run in ten different directions. So, what if you decline one holiday party invitation and opt to put the kids in their pajamas and drive around laughing and looking at Christmas lights. It’s okay. Go ahead and ask for that half-day off of work to attend your son or daughter’s Christmas play at school. Don’t feel guilty about it. When you see that big smile on your child’s face when they notice you in the crowd, you’ll know you made the right choice.
Although it is tempting to keep yourself booked solid for the entire holiday season, I urge you to reconsider. Before you get too busy, take a look at your to-do list and see if there are a few things that you could let go of this year. You may have to give a little less of yourself to some people in order to give more of yourself to your kids. After all, what your kids really want for Christmas…is you.