Early in November I get this feeling of nostalgia when thinking about the upcoming holidays. I picture myself much like the image above. I imagine a graceful and healthy me shopping for perfect gifts to share with my most loved ones. Effortlessly I I envision that I will have both the money and the time to volunteer at homeless shelters, cook nutritious meals for my family, help out a neighbor, find that perfect special something for that someone special, attend the Nutcracker, and read all of those Christmas books I just so love, you get the point.
Buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuttttttttttt, by the time December rolls around and I realize that I now only have 24 days to pack in all of all.this.stuff. my dreams quickly vanish and reality sets in. I quickly realize that I have the same amount of money and time that I did in all of the other months of the year but twice the obligations! I'm suddenly feeling stressed and the Christmas carols that I want to love so badly are now sounding like ticking clocks reminding me that I must do more, more, more! And
I don't think I am alone in feeling this way during the holidays. So today, I intend to stop the madness and start creating my own traditions that don't involve doing it all. Instead I will focus on self care and love and create realistic expectations for myself and my family. After all the greatest gift I can give my loved ones is a happy self who can give support, patience, openness, and kindness.
Instead of cramming in all of the volunteering this month maybe I can shoot for other months that aren't so busy. And instead of finding the perfect gift maybe I can invite that special someone to join me for coffee. How about seeing a play in the summer when the kids have nothing but free time?I am betting that I have those same loving Christmas feelings on Christmas morning (eating a pre-made casserole instead of slaving in the kitchen) but with more energy, money, and peace of mind.
Who knows maybe by this time next year I will look and feel more like that gal in the pic (but surrounded by smiling family and friends rather than gifts).