I find myself hash tagging 'TIS THE SEASON lately as I am feeling totally into the holidays this year. We got our tree up and decorations so much earlier. We listen to Christmas music all the time and I am not even sick of it yet!! I am really enjoying shopping and I am almost done. Its December 14th people! That must be a record for me. In a nutshell I am super excited!
I love the holidays. Thanksgiving typically my favorite. It's my favorite meal, fun with family and friends and no pressure of gift giving! I love Christmas too but was trying to pin point why I am so pumped about it this year. After some careful thought this is what I came up with:
- Keeping it simple. This is by far #1. I am saying to NO to things I have always done and not feeling bad about it. I know my limits better than ever before. I am doing what I call, "setting myself up for success."
- Saying NO is hard but I did it.... to teacher gifts, to making obscene amounts of cookies, and to having of a party.
- I started earlier - decorating and shopping. It is giving me more to enjoy this time with the family and not feeling the impending doom of the "deadline" to get it all done.
- My hubs helped where he could with shopping for the kids and our families. Every little bit counts.
- My kids are older. There is so much joy in Christmas with kids and when they are toddlers it is special. Now that I have a 11 and 9 year old it is still VERY special and sooooooo much fun. I am taking the time to enjoy it all with them for once instead of focusing on the to do list. We look for where the elf lands each morning. We dig into our advent calendars.... gingerbread houses. Crafts. Whatever. They help with my to do list and run errands with me, help me shop and we decorate together. MOST of all - we LAUGH. OH man do we laugh.
All that said my buddy GAD (my anxiety for you newbies here) very much rears his head this time of year. I have had my moments and he has given me some sleepless nights but I try and put perspective around how far I have come and channel the feeling I used to have around this time of year which was this:
I tried REAL hard to enjoy it but I did not make a point to do that every single day. I was so overwhelmed with all that had to be done and I was always frustrated that I felt I was the ONLY one responsible for it all and the TO DO list just got bigger. I was stressed and likely not that enjoyable to be around. I can admit that now. I was no Debbie Downer by any means, I enjoyed the important moments in my own way but the difference now.... I enjoy ALL the moments with GUSTO and appreciate them all. It has been amazing. There is so much freedom in allowing yourself to live in it, surrender.
Lastly - I made a decision to head home for a few days this year to spend time with family and friends around the holidays. Something I have not done in years. So we are headed up north to what I tell the kids is the "frozen tundra" and we are so excited! There is something nostalgic about my small hometown and I LOVE my kids spending time with their Nana, Uncles, Aunts and cousins.
If you ever find yourself in Chatham... you should check out Brown's Shoe Store. Great customer service and an awesome collection of shoes, clothing and accessories. It's one of kind. I happen to know the owner. Wink Wink.
MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY NEW YEAR to all of you. ENJOY EVERY MOMENT ya'll!!