Lifestyle/ Recipe

Christmas is Stressful – or IS it?

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Christmas is stressful…

Pssssst, hey you. Yes, YOU. It’s me, that little voice inside your head….The one with the guilty, stress-laden tone.

There’s so much to do…How can I possibly sleep when the menu hasn’t been finalized?
Christmas is stressful…
Hmmm, did I scrub the tile around the guest bathroom toilet?
Christmas is stressful…
What should I buy my nieces and nephews? Will they love it? Or am I gonna be the dud auntie?
Christmas is stressful…
My family is crazy…Heck, I’M crazy!
Christmas is stressful….

We carry this burden, this thought in the back of our minds that we have to do ALLLLLL the Christmas feels to make it a “merry” Christmas”.

We haul our kids to the nearest park/mall/church to have the obligatory photo taken with Santa.

Our kids make it to the front of the line, kicking and screaming. They’re wondering why is this man in a bad beard trying to force us to sit on his lap?? What the heck happened to stranger danger?

Parents, we’re breaking a sweat now. We beg, we plead with M&M’s and ice cream, thinking “for the love of god, please look at the camera!” Isn’t this fun? It. Is. Not. But at the same time, it’s worth it – because they aren’t going to remember it so at least we have a photo.

Christmas-is-stressful Christmas-is-stressful

We bolt to Starbucks to grab the Christmas tree frappachino because you CANNOT get this any other time of year, so get the frappachino!  420 calories and 50 grams of sugar later, we know we’re gonna need a diet plan, Weight Watchers, or a gym membership come January 1st. Okay, let’s be real, we’ll make it the 2nd…..

We plan and plan and plan to treat our loved ones to an awesome Christmas dinner. We attend parties that keep kids up past their bedtimes and visit with friends and family we may only see once or twice a year. We buy toys are kids don’t really need (100% guilty here – mine would rather play with a cardboard box and a spatula). But we do what we feel we should do!

Sometimes family conflicts or tension arise over the holidays. Or sometimes, gatherings just feel awkward; well – just because. My Dad used to tell me, “Deanne, you can pick your nose, you can pick your seat, but you can’t pick your family”. As a teenager, my first reaction was horror. But honestly, over the years I’ve come to jokingly repeat that phrase. Cause y’all, we know it’s true!

We observe the opening of Christmas presents with extended family. We pray our child won’t be the one to say something totally inappropriate when they open a gift. I remember the year my younger cousin said, “Gee, Grandma, socks….How would I ever have known…It’s not like we get them every year….” while rolling her eyes. An audible gasp was heard from the parents and she was quickly removed from the room. But as fellow cousins we were like – wow, she’s got some balls!  Btw, Grandma, we always loved your practical sock gifts. Really!

All of this craziness is totally normal and wonderful but still, let’s all recognize Christmas is stressful.

Now, let’s ask ourselves what Christmas is all about.

We could look at it this way – We are celebrating a holiday that causes debt, family fights, stress, too much clutter, weight gain and more. Well THAT’s clearly not a fun way to look at things.

Let’s put it into perspective.

No matter our beliefs, we celebrate in spite of all the craziness because we crave special moments in our lives, like the ones with our children on Santa’s lap. We want a reason to pull us closer to the ones we love, and this season most certainly radiates warmth and love like a big, hand-knit cozy scarf .

We have to force ourselves to sift through the things that DON’T matter to focus on the things that DO matter this time of year.

If you need a cue, take a look at a child admiring the neighborhood lights, or a simple package wrapped under the tree. (Yes, we’re all crossing our fingers it doesn’t get unwrapped before the big day).  Let’s find little things to celebrate as we approach Christmas. Let the packaged sparkle and glitz of the things that don’t matter so much operate quietly in the background. They’ll go on, I promise. But in the meantime, we can eliminate some of the stress by living in the little moments, the ones that specifically matter to US.

Let’s enjoy Christmas. Catch some of the childlike wonder of the season. Breathe. Smile. Enjoy. SLEEP.

Before the chaos really get’s rolling, let’s figure out what it is about this time of year that is most special to us. And we can make THAT our focus in the coming weeks. The shopping and meal planning – well, those always end up happening in the end, anyway.

I extend a heartfelt (early) Merry Christmas to you and hope you spend the next weeks in happy chaos, but not stress. I have some meal planning tips coming your way soon and as always, message me if I can help solve any kitchen dilemmas.

And please, share your photos with Santa. They’re simply the best!

Made with love,

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