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Letting Go This Holiday Season

49 days. That’s right, friends! We are ONLY 49 days away from Christmas Day! I cannot believe I am even typing this right now. I feel like I say this every year around this time but where has the time gone?

This has been one crazy year. I am sure a lot of you can say the same thing. Let’s just say I am ready for this holiday season. I am ready for all the baking, all the get-togethers, all the tree-lighting ceremonies, and for kids covered in chocolate and sprinkles. BRING IT ON! I just love this time of year.

Believe it or not, though, I used to actually really HATE this time of year. It felt stressful to me. There were too many events and parties to attend. There were too many gift exchanges. There were too many things I wanted to make and bake. The list went on. While I enjoyed the THOUGHT of Christmas, the actual experience of the holiday was just not fun.

What changed my thoughts on the holidays was my kids. I specifically remember Christmas 2020. I was trying to go all out for my kids. I wanted to bake every treat with them. I wanted to have every single decoration in the world up in my house and to take them to all the Christmas events. I wanted to buy them all the Christmas presents and get professional family pictures taken and mail them out to all of our family and friends. I wanted to do everything. By December 20, I was truly BURNT OUT. I was so tired and over Christmas. I wasn’t enjoying trying to do EVERYTHING. I remember I couldn’t wait for Christmas to just be over.

The magical day finally arrived. The day I was so excited for and preparing for. All the presents were wrapped and under the tree and I expected this tv-like Christmas morning.

My kids ripped into their first present – the biggest one, of course, and the only one they had their eyes on for the past few weeks. They opened them and were obsessed! Finally, we said, “Okay, let’s open more!”

You will never believe what they said.

“More? We don’t need more. We got this cool toy already!”

Later that morning, I was busy cooking away in the kitchen. I wanted to make this amazing dinner and I was stressing out because…well, truthfully, I was just over it. My kids came up to me and said, “Mommy, come play with us!” I said, “I can’t right now because I am trying to finish making this dinner.”

Again, guess what they said to me. “Mommy, we don’t need a fancy dinner, please just play with us.”

By the end of the day, I finally realized that I had put so much stress on myself for the holiday season, and not only was I not enjoying it, but I just brought on the stress for no reason. My kids didn’t care to get a ton of gifts, they didn’t need a fancy dinner, and they didn’t need to bake all the goodies. Most people probably ripped my Christmas card within minutes of looking at it (I am totally guilty of doing that myself!). It was all so unnecessary. What my kids really cared for was spending quality time with me. They just wanted their mom to be happy, stress-free, and able to sit and hang out with them.

After that Christmas, I cut out a lot. I don’t put up a ton of Christmas decorations. We only bake just a few of our favorite treats, we just do 2-3 gifts per kid and we only attend the parties that we truly want to attend. If I can’t arrange for family pictures during the holidays that is totally fine. Call us crazy, but my husband and I even took the pressure off of giving gifts to each other.

I actually now genuinely look forward to not only Christmas day, but the whole holiday season. It doesn’t stress me out at all and I can fully enjoy it with my family.

At the end of the day, isn’t that what Christmas is all about?

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