Ho, Ho, Ho, Merry Christmas! It’s that time of year when everything around you has magically turned red and green and your kids don’t complain about your choice of Harry Connick, Jr. blasting from the radio. The tree is up, the nativity is lit on the mantel (minus Joseph who broke years ago…) and I’ve already gained a few Christmas candy pounds.
Tis the season to be jolly… and stressed to the max. Am I right?
Here’s the thing – I want to like Christmas. I mean, deep down on a spiritual level I absolutely do. But here, on the surface where I’m expected to buy gifts that no one cares about or attend functions with actual adult clothing on I am a little, well, meh. It’s the introvert/penny-pincher in me, I know. It is in this spirit that I have given myself these five permissions this Christmas that will hopefully make the season a little brighter. Why don’t you try them with me?
1. Relax about the advent reading/calendar/candy/stockings/enteryourtraditionhere
I grew up in the Baptist tradition and had never even heard of Advent (that I can remember) until college. With the coming of Pinterest it seems that if we are going to be good Christian parents then we will certainly do something leading up to Christmas day. Especially as homeschoolers; we feel like we need to observe and teach every tradition. I love the Advent tradition, I do. The older I get the more liturgical I lean, so following the church calendar speaks to me. Our family does scripture readings at night, and I even have an Advent calendar stuffed with candy canes, but if we forget one night then OH WELL. My parents did nothing like this with me and, surprise, I still grew up to love Jesus.
2. Online Christmas Shopping
You can get exactly what you want sent straight to your door. And this time of year it’s generally with free shipping. You could not DRAG me to the mall right now. Amazon, I thank God for you.
3. One Good Outfit
I bought a semi-nice outfit. Even some jewelry. I plan to wear it (or some version of it) to every function I have to go to. I will not feel bad about this. And, bonus, its stretchy pants.
4. Saving All Year Round
Do you know what takes a little bit of the stress off at Christmas? Actually having money to pay for it. Who knew? I started saving a little here and there last January in my free Capital One 360 Savings Account, and this Christmas I am a lot less stressed about money. Woot woot.
5. Seeing the season through my kid’s eyes
I am a perfectionist at heart. Motherhood has taken some of that out of my hands, but my thoughts still linger there. I would love to have a perfectly shaped and decorated tree, but having kids who want to decorate it, and a husband who insists on a real tree even though we live in West Texas, means a Charlie Brown tree for certain. Our tree is a HOT MESS, but my kids love it. They love every single tradition, whether it goes as planned or not. I’m choosing to look at it all through their eyes. I’m choosing to see the magic and not the mess.
This Christmas give yourself a break. Society at large has turned this worshipful season into a complete ball of stress one Hallmark movie at a time. Maybe if we take a step back and give ourselves some breathing room we can remember what Christmas is all about
Maybe. Ask me again on December 26th.
Are there some Christmas traditions you’re giving yourself a break on this year?