Don’t Stress Over The Holidays
My firstborn was born on December 8. Seventeen days before Christmas. Besides the fact that I didn’t get out of bed for 24 hours and couldn’t do stairs, it was our first child and we were pretty typical new parents…I think. Bottom line: We didn’t do much that Christmas.
We had 5 years before that where it was just he and I for Christmas. We could do whatever – and however much – we wanted. I had my decorating down, my Christmas card labels in a database, and my calendar carefully planned. [I never did get into the holiday baking.] But THAT Christmas with the newborn I didn’t do much – I couldn’t – it wasn’t happenin.
I had a meltdown. Yup. Complete meltdown. It wasn’t pretty. I do remember my husband trying to help me and my [loud] reply was, “I don’t want you. I want my Mother!” My Mother wasn’t available at that time – lucky for her – bad for him. I was sure that if I didn’t do everything as good as I always did everyone was going to hate me. No one would send me Christmas cards the next year and I would have to sit in the corner at any party I was invited to out of obligation.
Ya know what? I survived that Christmas [although my husband is probably a bit scarred]. The next Christmas I held my breath [figuratively, of course] and walked on eggshells [again that's totally figurative] but nobody even mentioned my lack of Christmas perfectionism the previous year. I’ve made it through 9 more Christmases since then, and I don’t remember anyone bringing up something I “should have done.”
This year we moved to a new house in October. We have simple Christmas decorations and simple gifts to give, but no cards again this year. I don’t feel like going all out with Christmas decorations when I haven’t finished the normal decorating. I’ve purposely, consciously, made-a-point of NOT feeling guilty about any of it. [Confession: It took me a while for the cards; I really stressed for a day or two and then let them go.] I hereby give you permission to do the same with whatever you’re struggling with this Christmas.
It’s not worth it to stress out. A meltdown is unnecessary. It’s supposed to be “the most wonderful time of the year” so just “go with the flow
bro” and enjoy what you do have! Enjoy your friends and family. Enjoy the windows in your house – oh that’s me! Enjoy the smiles all around and spread some of your own. In a couple years you want to remember it as a happy Christmas; not a stressed out Christmas.