My title should be bolded.
Let me explain.
I love Christmas. Always have. It’s by far my favorite holiday, yet I usually let myself get caught up in “stuff” that leaves me uptight and crabby.
This year I did a few things differently, and it made all the difference in the world.
- I skimped on the Christmas decorations. Now, don’t get me wrong, I still put out a respectable amount of decorations, I just didn’t try to put out every single piece of Christmas memorabilia that I own. Since I don’t like clutter and I like things in their place, this “skimping” made a tremendous difference in my overall mental health. Day to day I wasn’t feeling hemmed in my knick knacks. And yes, I do realize how this sounds, but it’s the truth.
- I shopped with Jeff (thank goodness for online shopping). I finally learned. And it took long enough, I might add. Usually I buy a bunch of stuff for the kids and then the week before Christmas Jeff gets involved. I then get all stressed out about finances because I’ve already spent a bunch of money on “stuff” and he wants to buy more. Understandably. He SHOULD be involved in the fun that is involved in picking out just the right present for one’s loved ones. Especially if the loved one’s are one’s own children.
- I didn’t cook OR bake. I thought I enjoyed baking Christmas goodies until this year when I didn’t. I love making nice meals for my family, and usually do. This year I didn’t, and it was really, really nice to not have to prepare and clean up TWO formal dinners. And really, who can complain when they are treated to a couple of nice dinners where their only requirement is to show up? I didn’t even have to cook Christmas breakfast. Jeff did.
- I got into the spirit of the season with my family. Remember that post about teaching my children about service? Seeing how my children responded and how good we felt as a family as a result made a HUGE difference in my attitude this year.
- I agreed to something that I feel REALLY apprehensive about (it’s important to stress REALLY APPREHENSIVE, here), because I know it will make my family really, really happy. All in the spirit of giving (and by giving, I do not mean financially). For my children. And my husband.
- And lastly, I went with the flow. I didn’t try to make every situation go the way I thought it should go. Very liberating.
It helps tremendously that all of the kids were old enough this year to keep their emotions under check (no tantrums or impatient whining), and able to share in the tasks at hand.
And, even if I hadn’t gotten the sleekest, most mind-boggling-thin laptop made by my favorite produce named company from my husband, I’d say that this Christmas ranks up there as one of the happiest on record.