Happy December friends.
Happy magic making (no pressure).
Happy never ending to do lists.
Happy stress and never quite enough time or you to go around.
Happy super bowl of insanity.
Remember when Christmas was fun?
It is a little hazy but I do remember.
And because everything was cancelled last year, it somehow feels like this year is riding high on a cocktail of steroids, speed, denial and pressure. In making up for lost time, it seems like everything is doubling down on making everything become more in every possible frantic way. Want Christmas jammies? They sold out before Halloween. Need something to ship quickly? That apparently is no longer a thing. Want to simplify? You now have 82 white elephant gifts to buy on top of the 1124 other gifts for family, clients, friends, teachers, bus drivers, mail people and everyone you waved to last year. Want to have a relaxing evening? Try late June maybe. All of the nights from now until the end of time have a thing. All. Of. The. Nights. Want to feel guilty about not doing something? Oh, don’t worry. Guilt is just about the only thing that is not in short supply this year.
It is all just too much.
Bear with me but here is a wild thought: what if we decided to do all of the things that truly brought us and our children joy and just decided to let go of the rest? Without remorse or apology, what if we focused on fun and did what we love and gave our kids the happiest and best versions of ourselves? What if we don’t wake up on the 26th stressed, exhausted and physically, emotionally and financially drained? Let’s say goodbye to all of the should dos and focus on the want tos and go after what we actually want. Maybe that is the real secret to it actually being the most wonderful time of the year.
So how do we actually do that? I think it is easier than we think. Here are the top tips to taking Christmas back:
1. Watch Bad Moms Christmas. Be inspired on how these mommas take back the holidays and make room for what we need above all else: laughter.
2. Decide what you REALLY love to do. This one requires some true self-reflection. Hate going to your cousins ugly Christmas sweater party? Don’t go. Love sending Christmas cards? Send them. Hate to bake but love shopping? Don’t do one and do up the other. What messes us up is the idea that we have to not only do it all but also love it all. That just leaves us exhausted and honestly a bit depressed. Change the narrative and go after the things that bring you the most happiness and you will be all the better for it.
3. Delegate, or most importantly, let go of the rest. No one wins if you are too burnt out to enjoy anything. Have your kids help and/or hire help if you want to, but know that people will move forward if you don’t make them crab cakes on Christmas Eve even if you always have. You don’t have to go to 17 different relatives houses in one day. You are under no obligation to get your neighbors cat a present (unless you want to). Make joy your top priority and everything else will shift.
4. Release the guilt, update and upgrade. It is your life. Yours. Reflect on where your life is now and not where it has been. What do you want to do NOW? Just because it is how it has always been done, doesn’t mean it serves who you are now. You have full permission to change anything that you want to. In taking Christmas back, you are actually taking back your life too. And that is something that should be celebrated and not come with a side helping of guilt. It may even inspire other people to go after what they want to too. And that sounds like a much better holiday tradition to carry forward.
Here’s to having a beautiful holiday season that lives, breathes and thrives on your terms. You’ve got this.
Merry everything to you,