As another Holiday season passes, I am reminded by my grown children of what is really important. All the hustle, bustle, have-to’s, shoulds and obligations sure can drag us down! It can be such an exhausting time of chore lists and creating a picture book holiday. We stretch ourselves so thin that we have no time to enjoy! I’ve lived through those years! I remember one year I was so stressed and tired that I actually said to my children on Christmas morning---“Hurry up and open these gifts so we can get this over”. As soon as it came out of my mouth---I knew it was wrong! But it was a huge wake-up call for me. This season is about joy and peace. How did I let it turn into this circus?
That was long ago and I have cut out many things that are not necessary at this time. I go to only the parties I really want to. I buy thoughtful gifts well enough in advance so they feel good inside not just another thing to cross off my list. I make time to be with people I love. I cook the things that bring me pleasure and buy or do without all the rest.
I am bringing this up because it is a lesson my daughters are also learning. Right before Christmas one of my daughters called me crying because she had so much to do and she hasn’t been able to get her decorations up (2 weeks before Christmas) and when will she find time to bake cookies and send cards and bake cookies and all the kids have Christmas programs at different time, of course and…… on and on. She remembered the good memories of Christmases when she was a child and just wanted to be sure her kids also had those fond memories. It made me laugh because I had those same stresses……. But I learned to let go of the things that don’t matter and suggested she do the same! Make a list a five things that are important to you at Christmas and don’t do anymore. For her decorations were so important as were the Christmas programs at school and church. Shopping was the hardest especially for extended family. Online shopping makes things so much easier today as well as gift cards. Give your children your primary focus. So….she asked… what about the cookie making. She wanted her kids to have the same plate full of every which kind on the table on Christmas Eve. She was shocked to hear that sometimes I bought them and maybe baked one kind just for the smell in the house.
Her memories of Christmas were the fun we had as a family not the hoopla that would wear a Mother out. Wouldn’t it be more heart warming to have and smiling, happy mother than 12 kinds of homemade cookies? She learning earlier than I did to let some of the stuff go….kids grown very fast without us if we stay busy! Spend 90% of your time on things that matter to you and 10% on the rest!