It’s almost here. Does that thought cause a knot in your stomach?
Like a train barreling down a track, Christmas is on the way.
Can you feel it?
When I was a kid, Christmas was a dreamy time. Visions of fulfilled dreams and new beginnings buoyed my spirits and lifted everyone’s mood.
As a mom, I want to dream those same dreams. Problem? Other people are depending on YOU to make their dreams happen
It’s that pressure that makes us crazy for a month and a half. Rather than donning our gay apparel, we make three mistakes that mess up Christmas for everyone. These are all things we can DO something about.
1. Don’t get so wound up.
Because we are the dream do-ers of the season, we assume the tension of all the responsibility. Does that make anyone feel merry? One year of particular burnout for me, I remember setting up for cookie making with the kids and thinking to myself – “This cookie making must make a perfect memory for the kids.” True, it is memory making, but having a mom who is too wound up about making it perfect will make everyone nervous. Tension is not the stuff of good memories. Relax and focus on the fun. No one will remember if the gingerbread man’s buttons are crooked. They will remember if you were a nervous nut bag about confection perfection. Chill out, mom. You’ll have more fun.
2. Don’t do too much.
Opportunities for holiday merriment abound. I recall one year that we went to three parties on one day. As I buckled the kids in to travel from event 2 to event 3, one asked me plaintively, “Mom, can’t we just go enjoy Christmas at home?” Indeed. There are so many worthwhile and fun things you can do during December, but you don’t have to do all of them.
3. DO clarify expectations.
Guess what? In all likelihood, NO ONE ELSE is expecting you to put on an authentic Victorian Christmas, or a celebration that even Martha Stewart would approve of. Your kids and your spouse might actually prefer simpler, easier traditions that allow you to be fully present to enjoy the wonder together.
Perhaps that is the best gift we can all give each other in this season. Be present, really listen, share freely and hug often. That’s the real magic of Christmas.