The holidays are fast approaching…. How are you doing? Read that again, how are YOU doing?

 

I have said this many times…. I think the holidays are designed to stress out parents!

 

There is Elf on the Shelf… who can remember to move that thing every night before they go to bed? I’m not even going to get started on my thoughts of parents who have their elf show up every morning with a NEW note from Santa, yeah, a NEW NOTE EVERY DAY!?!

 

There is buying presents for your family, children, friends…. And then you get a present from that neighbor or co-worker that wasn’t even on your list! What do you do? Do you now have to add that person to your list? Oh and what about the years that you are TOTALLY, I mean completely done, with your Christmas shopping and then your kids do a 180 on you and change EVERYTHING that is on their list. Yeah… that was an expensive year!

 

Let’s talk about cookies… how many Christmas cookies is too much? How much is enough? I personally made 8 different cookie recipes with the kids. Yeah, 8! What did they end up eating? The pretzels with melted Rolo’s on top that take 5 minutes to make!

 

Then there are the holiday parties, well, not this year, right!?! Holiday parties are great once you get there but the lead in is terrible. You have sooooo much to get done, you don’t have time to go BUT once you get there – it’s magical. You see your friends, you take the time to chat and relax and the FOOD. That’s amazing…. And often you didn’t have to cook it!!! The exception to that rule is this one Christmas Cookie Exchange I go to every year. I look forward to it. This year I was really sad that it got cancelled because of Covid. That Christmas party HELPS me out. Sure I get to see friends and the kids are in school, so there are no interruptions. That is all great. BUT,  I also get a variety of cookies that I don’t have to make!

 

Then there are the endless Christmas movies. You do know they all have the same plot right?

 

Decorating the house… well I don’t do that one…. But I am some of you rockstars do. I am sure that adds to your stress. It sounds like a lot of work to me. You spend a whole day pulling out boxes from your basement, setting things out around your house, front door, mantle and railings…. I spend a day just trying to pick up all of my kids’ stuff so we can find the Christmas tree and put their stuff under it. Maybe that’s my “decorating”

 

What about the lights on your house? My kids think that we are poor because we do not decorate our house with Christmas lights. My son Frank thinks you are a BILLIONAIRE, yes with a B, if you have a lot of lights on your house. Doesn’t matter the size of the house, color of lights, stuff on the lawn. Decorate your $100,000 house with lights, you are rich in his eyes. 

 

Then there is the Mom-guilt. Kind of like the guilt I feel when Frank is constantly discussing the economic status based on lights displayed on people’s houses. Let’s be honest, we could really increase our status in our 5 year olds mind if we just took the time to put some lights up around our house. 

 

We judge ourselves, we judge others. We think, “must be nice to have that much time.” Or “if I had their life I could do more.” In the end we have no idea. We aren’t walking in anyone else’s shoes. We all do and take time for the things that are important to US.

 

In the end, these are all things that bring cheer to some and stress to others. You do what makes YOU happy and brings YOU joy. Joy for the kids as well, that’s a massive bonus. We are all doing the best we can. 

 

This year we are missing a lot. We have lost that human connection. I am trying to show those I care about exactly what they mean to me. What if we just took a minute, told them we appreciate them (and why), added in some fancy eye contact and called it a day? Yes, that would mean this needs to happen outside of a text message. I think the world would be a better place, one true, heartfelt connection at a time. 

 

Remember to take a moment to breathe. Hug the ones you love and tell them 3 things you appreciate about them. What happens if they try to deflect your love? You show them with your eyes that you mean every word that is coming out of your mouth from the deep recesses of your heart. It will create this one small beautiful moment of connection, happiness and love for you and for them. 

 

To me, that’s what this season is all about!