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Tuesday, December 10, 2019

The Christmas Perfectionist Must Go

Last year I realized that I am a Christmas Perfectionist.  I'm a recovering perfectionist in the majority of my life, but I still struggle with the desire to create a Christmas fantasy and it gets harder every year.  I want to give gifts with meaning, create memories that last, see all the family members, create a wonderland in our home and have time to slowly sip cocoa and decorate sugar cookies.  All this while still working, volunteering and attempting to cook and clean.  Clearly, it's not possible to do all the things.

This year, I'm being more intentional about enjoying the moments.  I've used the phrase "We'll just see what we can do" many times and let go the things that don't fit our schedule (or budget, or priorities).

Every year I feel the frenzy and begin to spiral into "should" and "must" and feeling like I have no choice.  The past few years I have felt more able to push those feelings into their place and love what IS and enjoy moments.  It gets easier with practice.  In case you find yourself slip-sliding into demands that are really too much, try centering your priorities with these questions:

Do I really want to do this?  Related: Am I participating because someone expects me to?  because I feel guilty if I don't? 

What will the activity or gift cost?  Is it worth it?  Related: Is it costing too much peace or mental energy today?

Who is counting on me to be at peace today?  What will help me get to that state of mind?  Related: How can I be gentle to myself in the season of busy?

When I say "yes," what am I saying "no" to?  Does that reflect my true priorities?  Related: How do I determine what is important?

When the schedule/weather/baking/gifts/shopping/etc. aren't the way I would like, where will I find my satisfaction?  Related: Are you letting the mood of others determine your own feelings?

So, if you can't afford the ideal gift or you don't like all the travel - take control of the things in your power to make the season the best one yet.  Stay focused on the greater good and let the momentary disruptions slide.  If you want to spend time with family, recognize that you may have to travel or say no to other things.  You get to decide how to "Do" your holiday season.

More Christmas Thoughts:

My first year as a Single Mom at Christmas (That was a tough one)

My Evolving Ideas About Holidays After Divorce

When You're Apart From Your Children at the Holidays (Christmas morning is quieter)
A Quiet Christmas
And They're Off

December has Some Dark Days

Prepare Him Room (The Real Meaning of Christmas)

Modern Family Holiday Helps

I do hope you are Christmasing with Joy this season!

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

It's Time for a List - Right?

I mean, Santa's making his, so I'm making one, too!  Here's a short list of what is on my mind this week.  There is seriously no order to this one:

1. We have had a really good year and every single person in our family seems a bit more settled and content - our Thanksgiving was filled with true gratitude. 

2. It seems like there is no middle ground between rest and action.  After two days of quiet when our kids were with their other families, everyone came home and the holiday hustle was strong! 

3. Christmas shopping is fun to me and I'm already wrapping up my list - yay!

4. I'm not a fan of cold weather, but I do like sweaters.  In December, I want to wear red every single day.

5. Speaking of red, I love it and Christmas doesn't feel the same without red decor.  I know white and neutral is all the fashion, but give me all things red.

6. If you're giving today, please consider this organization - Mercy House.  Their Fair Trade Friday box is wonderful, too!

7. Are you sending Christmas cards this year?  I hope to get mine out by the end of the week.  I send about 20 each year to family that live far away.  I think it's sad that we get to see family so rarely.

8. School is tough, but even moreso through this season where we are already trying to fit in more.  Necessary struggles, I guess.

9. The late Thanksgiving and mid-week Christmas Day leave us "missing" a weekend of holiday fun...something is gonna have to give, but we will cram in the joy wherever we can. 

10.  I really love my husband.