This is for every parent who is exhausted from trying to make the perfect Christmas. Take a breath and remind yourself of what is truly important this Christmas. Let’s toss away the pressure and choose joy.
I typed out the words of e-mail feeling like the worst mother in the world.
“I’m sorry guys, but I haven’t had a chance to do any baking this year. Are there any treats you would like me to buy?”
I love baking for my boys at Christmas. It is one of the ways I show my love. They all have their favorite cookies and Christmas isn’t Christmas without them.
But I hadn’t had a chance to bake. Not only that but the gifts weren’t wrapped, and I couldn’t locate their stockings.
All I wanted to do was hide behind some boxes and feed on Christmas chocolates. But I hadn’t even managed to get to the store and buy any.
When life happens
Three weeks ago we moved to a new house I never thought it would be possible for us to have our own house, so buying our little cottage has been thrilling. Yet the process of packing, moving, and cleaning the old house has been physically exhausting.
To make matters worse we had a septic tank incident one week after we moved in.
Instead of enjoying my usual Christmas preparations I spent days scrubbing down the basement with bleach and throwing out contaminated items.
There has been no time to bake, or decorate, or buy chocolates.
I felt so bad.
When our expectations become a burden
I love the holidays – all the family traditions and amazing food– but this year, this yearI couldn’t find the joy. The pressure of making Christmas in the midst of chaos was getting me down.
This should not have been the case. We made the choice ages ago to simplify our holidays, not overdo the preparation and embrace the imperfection.
Yet still …. I felt terrible.
Because I hadn’t done the things I thought I should.
Because despite my best intentions I’m always battling those expectations.
The pressure of making a perfect Christmas
The pressure to make the holidays PERFECT is overwhelming.
- The perfect tree.
- The perfect decorations.
- The perfect cookies.
- The perfectly wrapped gifts with co-ordinated gift tags.
- The perfect Christmas activities.
- The perfect Christmas crafting experience.
- The perfect Christmas photograph
Trouble is all this striving for perfection makes us feel horrible.
The secret of a wonderful Christmas
Last weekend we drove to our son’s house without stockings, store bought treats, and gifts barely wrapped.
And guess what? It was marvellous!
There was laughter, love, and family.
And when you have those things you have a truly wonderful Christmas.
Not only that, but my son had baked all our favorite cookies. What an incredible gift.
Say yes to peace and joy
So if you are feeling frazzled and exhausted from trying to create the perfect Christmas.
Take a breath. Remember that you already have what is truly important.
When your children grow up they won’t remember if your house was a little messy, you bought the treats for their classroom party, or you didn’t loving hand stitch their stockings from re-purposed clothes. Apparently that’s a thing this year (so my Pinterest feed tells me.)
You still have family, love and laughter and it is those things that make Christmas magical.
They will remember snuggling under a blanket to read Christmas stories, lying under the tree to watch the lights twinkle, and possibly making shaving cream Santa beards.
Those are the moments that will become memories. And those are the things that will give you joy.
So this year let’s toss the stress and Pinterest perfect pressure.
Instead let’s say yes to whatever brings us joy and peace this holiday season.
A little gift to help
Are you feeling pressured to make the holidays perfect? How can you let go of those expectations and embrace Christmas with all its imperfections?
Follow my Simple Christmas Pinterest board
Follow Rediscovered Families’s board Simple Christmas on Pinterest.