A Life Well Made

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Christmas should mean Happiness not Stress!

christmas card

Right now you may be wishing Christmas was here.  Not because you are excited to open your presents but because you are ready for this crazy holiday season to be over.

I like to call this time of year the Season to let Shit Go meaning with all the added commitments this season brings something has to give.  And if you don’t want it to be you rocking in the corner of the kitchen holding a bottle of wine, a long knife with mascara streaked beneath your eyes here is some advice for you.

Just let shit go.  That’s right.  Your sanity is much more important than any holiday and if you haven’t figured that out yet I’m here to tell it to you.  Small holidays like Labor Day or even Valentine’s Day take planning and can leave you frazzled so I can only imagine how much hair you have torn out due to the Christmas season!

If you are ready for Christmas, have everything wrapped under the perfect tree and the scent of baking cookies is really coming from the oven and not one of the Glade wall smellies I applaud you.

If however you are not a robot programed to do everything perfectly and resemble the above mentioned person in the corner of the kitchen, this blog is for you!

Just let it all go!

I know it’s easy to say but hard to do, especially for those of you who are perfectionists with super powers able to work, take care of family, buy all the presents, wrap them after everyone else goes to bed, clean the house, wash the dishes, bake seven kinds of cookies, make and send all your own Christmas cards and find time to take care of yourself.

You might be able to do all the above mentioned things but if at the end of the season you are in need of hospitalization and heavy medication, you are doing it all wrong even though you may feel you are doing it all right!

Just because you are able to do it all doesn’t mean you should.  But no one else is going to do it you say.  And that is probably true otherwise you would have already delegated responsibilities to that person to help you out.

What I mean is the holidays have gotten completely out of control.  Whether this is because you have set what you expect of yourself too high or you feel others are judging you, you try to do everything at the expense of your own happiness.

The expectations of the holidays are beyond crazy but you don’t have to buy into it.  I’m going to tell you something.  I didn’t put up a tree.  Nope.  I put a poinsettia on a table, wrapped the table and surrounding walls with white lights and a few sparkly ornaments.  Oh, and I did hang stockings.

WTF!  That’s not Christmas you say!  Well it is my Christmas this year!  I asked my boys if they wanted to put up a tree and they said “a fake tree?”  because I like fake trees.  Yes, I said.  No they said.

And that is why I have a poinsettia instead.  But there are traditions you say!  And I say traditions change over time.  When the kids were little we did the tree and the ornaments and the decorations.  But now that they are older and it isn’t all about the magic act of getting into the holiday spirit.  Kids are always in the holiday spirit because they know they are still going to get what is most important to them-presents!

So what if the presents are sitting on a table around a poinsettia instead of a $75 tree I’m going to throw away two weeks after Christmas.  So what if my house doesn’t smell like the middle of a forest on a winter day.  So what if I didn’t put lights up on my house and Santas and snowflakes in the yard.

Doing Less Doesn’t Mean you are a Grinch this Christmas!

Call me a Grinch I really don’t care.  I think of a Grinch as someone who doesn’t do anything for the holidays.  I’m still doing the holiday I’ve just decided that all the time sucking, put on a happy face bullshit that really means nothing at the end of the day is not as important as the dinner we are going to eat together with family and friends we have chosen to spend time with.

The kids are still going to get the experience they want-ripping into way too many presents and playing with their cousins.  You and I are still going to watch their happy faces and end up getting into an argument with someone because they say stupid shit at the dinner table.  We are still going to have to mediate fights that break out because someone got what someone else wanted and someone is going to get way too drunk.

Since the holidays are all about tradition, I want you to start a new one.  I want you to have a happier holiday.  I want you to see that this season, any holiday season, is not about keeping up with the Jones or should I say Kardashians.  This is about giving yourself and your family as much as you can but within reason and that means not only in terms of money but your time and sanity.

First of all if you set expectations super high this year what are you going to do next year to top it?  Me?  I think if you lower expectation then the next year and the one after that one are easy peasy.

Ok, so you know I am only half kidding.  But the half that isn’t is saying “take a fucking breath” and get over yourself.  If you LOVE doing it all, then keep on keeping on Sister!  I wish I had whatever you were smoking.

But for the rest of us it really doesn’t matter to anyone else (who matters in your life) whether your house looks like a winter wonderland and smells like Santa’s workshop if at the end of the day you are unable to enjoy what you have done.

Redefine what Christmas means to you

If you cannot sit back and watch your children enjoy the day because you are running in 17 directions and ready to cry because you are so stressed you really need to redefine how you “do” the holidays.

Yes you want to give your kids the holiday spirit with traditions and memories they can take on to their families.  But are you really sending the right message?  Are you nowhere to be found when the fun begins?  Are they going to expect all your work and then expect their spouse or themselves to have to keep up appearances later in life?

Do they appreciate or even care how big the tree is or how many snow globes and Santas you have adorning the house?  Do they even know the difference between fresh baked cookies and cookies fresh from the package arranged lovingly on a serving plate?

You are in control of the holidays; the holidays are not in control of you.  No one is in control of you except you.  Life will go on if you don’t give it 110%.  Hell life goes on if you wrap ten gifts, buy a bottle of bubbly and maybe roast a turkey or prime rib.  The rest of it doesn’t matter as long as at the end of the day you are able to smile a real smile of accomplishment because you are able to enjoy your family and friends.


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