When our daughter was born, one thing I most looked forward to was building lasting holiday traditions. I had visions of passing on the myths of Santa filling stockings, the Easter Bunny leaving a basket of treats, sewing Halloween costumes. In my own childhood, our family patterns shifted as older brothers left the house.
Looking back now, I think my mom was just tired; tired of feeding a large family, tired of load after load of laundry, tired of getting out the paper bags holding the gold tinsel garland, all while working full time. I don’t think she realized my childhood was lacking in continued traditions as she mentally checked out and physically stopped participating in the joy holiday customs can bring. She had to have been tired.
How about you? Are you tired of a long list and maybe feeling under appreciated? You know, if you have not ordered those Christmas cards yet, don’t; don’t feel obligated. I have always enjoyed making and sending cards but a few years back I lost the energy for it. We had been traveling in early December and though I had a plan, the thought of cutting and taping and gluing 75 handmade cards, well…I.just.could.not.do.it.
But guess what? When I announced to my family it wasn’t happening, they rallied. They made what had felt like an inconvenient task fun again. My Honey worked the paper cutter like an expert, my girl tied ribbon bows and my then future son-in-law helped with the assembly. Why didn’t I take that Christmas photo? It is a favorite December memory.
Side note: Over the years we have captured pictures and videos on a variety of cameras and camcorders. I won our first camcorder, which was roughly the size of a loaf of bread, in a raffle. Turns out that’s kind of a super power of mine. I also won our first phone answering machine.
Anyway, I learned a valuable lesson that year: let your people know how you are feeling. Together we looked at the list and decided what was important. Sending a holiday card? Check. Building a gingerbread house and decking it out with 3 pounds of bulk candy? Nope, we drew a line through that item. Turned out the only thing my daughter really liked about that holiday chore was… the candy. #sweettooth
Take a moment and review your list. Is there something you can cross out instead of check off?