I hope December is treating you well, and if yours is less than stellar or downright horrid, I hope you can carve out a bit of time to do something that brings you a bit of peace and joy.
I have always found holidays to be too loud and bright and crowded and pressure filled. Admittedly, when my children were younger, there were a few years I reveled in their innocent excitement over all things Christmas, but those years feel short lived now that the boys are older. At 12 and 10, they still get excited for the season, and the break from school is certainly welcomed, but this year in particular feels harried, rushed, and chaotic. We are also feeling buried alive with school projects, so that’s likely putting a damper on everyone’s happy season. Can we just be done with school already?! Five more days, y’all. Five. More. Days.
When I feel overwhelmed by all the seasonal shenanigans, I get hella snappy. As a matter of fact, after yelling at my children one time too many last week, I downloaded a helpful Kindle book aptly titled, How to Stop Losing Your Sh*t on Your Kids, by Carla Naumburg. That last confession alone speaks volumes as to where I am with parenting angsty pre-teens. Just keep swimming, I tell myself.
So far, I’m finding Naumburg’s book helpful. It’s short and provides simple, actionable steps. Case in point, I’m in bed with my laptop at present, typing away, after I consciously elected to remove myself from our disgustingly filthy kitchen that bothers exactly NO ONE in our house except me. It’s progress, folks. The alternative is yelling obscenities at the top of my lungs while describing in great detail the filth that surrounds us. WHYYYYYYY????????
Anyway… nothing is glaringly tragic in my life this holiday season, and for that I am grateful. Lord knows this hasn’t always been the case – check the Grief Happens archives. There have definitely been worse years where our family was dealing with legitimate death and doom during the festive season.
I have had horrible holiday depression in the past, and it thrills me to say that most of that has resolved over the past few years, and I no longer have months and months of barely being able to get out of bed. I attribute this to better eating, proper meds, lifestyle changes, and vitamin D – Savannah life allows me to get outdoors and into the sun year round. I’ve learned to establish healthy boundaries with difficult people, and I’ve recognized and accepted that I need down time and plenty of quiet breaks from all the people-ing and festivities. It’s been a process as well as a practice, but I’ll take it.
For me, the Christmas season must be manageable, and that means different things to different people.
My good friend, Deana, puts up three trees and decorates not only HER house, but her office and several of her neighbors’ houses. Decorating is her favorite part of the season and I think that is AWESOME.
I need holiday decor to be minimal and manageable. I usually like Christmas music (at home – no need to hear it blasted in Target from September through January), hot chocolate, shopping early, and watching Elf. I’m also not opposed to a nice getaway around the holidays. Two years ago Gil and I took the kids on a cruise and got back on Christmas Eve. Frankly, traditions kind of bore me and I don’t feel the need to do all the things all the same every year FOREVER. (please don’t judge – it’s taken me a while to make peace with this reality.)
I do feel as though this year Christmas has come fast, and it blows my mind that it is only 10 days away.
So to all of you, I wish you a holiday season filled with whatever fills your cup, and blessings as we enter 2020.