It’s the most wonderful time of the year. It’s full of expectation and hope. As we approach Thanksgiving, we’re seeing more and more signs of Christmas. Lights on the trees, wreaths on the doors, and exciting reminders that December 25 is quicky approaching.
If I’m being honest, my favorite thing about Christmas is the anticipation of it. In fact, I go into a little bit of a post-Christmas funk on Christmas Day. I don’t even wait for the day to end before my funk begins, but I just get so sad that Christmas is over before it’s even over. I love the anticipation of Christmas that we get to experience in November and December.
But I wanted to toss out a gentle little reminder today. And it’s as much of a reminder for me as it is for you. And some of you may not even need it. But it’s the pep talk I need.
As you’re scrolling through Pinterest and you see that Christmas Bucket List that excites you? Go ahead and pin it, but don’t hold yourself or your family to someone else’s bucket list standard. Who says you even need a bucket list?
As you’re scrolling through Instagram and seeing what someone else’s Elf on the Shelf did last night, try to remember that your children probably have no idea what that person’s elf did and your children probably don’t care. If the Elf is your thing, then go all out and do it how you want to do it. If you’ve not introduced an Elf to your kids and don’t plan to, don’t feel guilty about it or feel critical about the Elf.
If you have a themed tree or you have a tree full of handmade ornaments, enjoy the tree that you have and the love and fun that went into putting it up.
If you haven’t hung your curtains or finished decorating your house, go ahead and open your doors and invite your friends in. Cook or order pizza and let go of perfection.
If you don’t want to print those printables or work on all of those handmade crafts, don’t do those things.
When I think of Christmas and how to be intentional, I just want my kids to enjoy it. I want a quiet December that’s free from obligation and full of love. And if I get myself hung up on a bucket list or having the perfect home, my kids won’t enjoy it. They’ll remember that their Christmas included a stressed-out mommy. And I know that my attitude toward the season and how we prepare for Christmas will affect how they feel about it most of all.
So we’re going to pop some popcorn and watch some Christmas movies. We may string the popcorn and hang it on the tree, but we may just eat it and not worry about that bucket list item. We may make some salt dough ornaments, but if we never get around to it, I may just do it in January to save for next Christmas.
We’re going to wrap some gifts for Angel Tree kiddos and we’re going to shop for our family members. If we don’t get the top item from the many gift guides, that’s okay.
If our biggest Christmas tradition ends up being sipping hot chocolate in our jammies and driving around looking at lights, my kids will remember that and the time we spent together.
So, this Christmas, I’m committing to being there for my family. I’m committing to not comparing our traditions to other families’ traditions. I’m committing to opening my doors to friends and family whether I’m “ready” for them or not. And I’m committing to slowing down and keeping the calendar clear so that our family is actually together this Christmas.
I know that a stressed-out mommy can steal the joy from my kids’ Christmas, and I’m committing to going with the flow this year. I’m choosing purpose over perfection.