I love Christmas. I have wonderful memories of how we celebrated Xmas when I was a child, and always tried to do what I could to make it truly magical for my 4 boys. And this is where things can get a little nutty. I remember one year travelling to a far away Toys R’Us to try to secure a Buzz Lightyear and Woody doll for two of my boys, just to discover they had no Woody dolls left!!! I was panicked! Christmas was going to be ruined for my oldest (a little over-dramatic I know). This was all he wanted, it was on the top of his Xmas-list with three starts next to it. The stars were a code system letting Santa know that this was really important… What was I to do? I grabbed the two last Buzz dolls and figured they would have to get the same thing. At least they were both from the same story/movie. Standing roughly 40th in line I happened to notice up at the front that someone was exchanging or returning a Woody doll. I turned to my line mate (a complete stranger) “hold my spot please!”; ran up to the front and yelling “I’ll take the Woody!!” The woman, also a mother obviously, looked at me smiling, knowing she had just saved me from probable disgrace and handed me the Woody telling me that her husband had already purchased one unknown to her. I was so relieved. within seconds another mother came running up – “do you still need two Buzz Lightyear figures?” No, I didn’t. It felt good to make another mom as happy as I now was.
It was not lost on me how crazy this was, but this is what we do as parents, as mothers.
I can manage this stress. It is the other stuff that puts the holidays at a feverish pitch. And mostly it’s the expectations we put on ourselves to be the perfect hostess throwing lavish holiday parties, wanting to prepare the perfect Xmas dinner without any help from anyone; aspiring to have the very best baked good for the (not so) friendly cookie exchange. Why do we do this to ourselves? I really don’t know, so I stopped. I do not participate in cookie exchanges. I don’t want 10 dozen cookies in the house any more than I want to make 10 dozen cookies. I throw parties, but I buy the appetizers and let people to bring one if they offer. I clean after the party, not before. I sit down and read with my boys and take time to enjoy the season and the excitement with them. This somehow makes everything worthwhile. Watching Miracle on 34th street and Rudolph are some of my favourite things to do.
So I re-prioritized something that is especially important now that I have 3 step kids as well! I make time for the little things first. I make time for me as well. My workouts may be a little shorter but i still do them. We eat nutritious meals the whole month and follow the Norwegian tradition (where I am from) of not having any cookies until Dec. 23rd. That night we get one of each of the 3 kinds that I make, just one. The rest is for our big celebration on Christmas Eve. And I make lists, endless lists and check them off one at a time. And the end result? I am calmer, happier, and enjoy the season. AND I don’t get sick on Boxing day anymore. Yay!
Make this the year you focus on the little, but important stuff like you, your spouse and your kids and let all the rest happen as it may, but without too much attention or fuss.
In an effort to help you with this I have created the #24DaysOfChristmas program. It is my way of saying:
“I know, I have been there”
So, this year let us take care of you and help you have the best season ever.