Sometimes, hearing or reading things about focusing on the REAL message of the holidays wears me out.
Because, deep down, I think we all try to focus on family and love and giving during this time. But for some of us there is A LOT of family and love and giving and the REASON for the season can be overly stressful.
It’s just really hard to be popular.
But if it is important to focus on family and friends, then I think it’s important to show up to my grade school kids’ Christmas show at 12:30. Then it’s equally important to show up for my middle school kid’s band concert that night at 6pm.
And there is the church party we go to and help out at so that everyone is fed and welcomed. Plus the women’s meeting I’m partially in charge of. (If I don’t show up, there will be no cake. Might as well cancel the whole thing.) We also enjoy throwing a skating party for my husband’s patients. They get to skate, make some crafts, see Santa, eat cookies. It’s a lot of fun. (Just an FYI: we kind of have it down but throwing a party for 200-400 people can take time.) We also do a few other things in the community in order to spread the spirit of cheer and happiness. I even volunteered to make a fruit salad for a gathering I don’t plan on going to because there wasn’t going to be enough food.
I think all of these things spread the spirit of the holidays. Being together; sharing; listening to children sing off key.
But that also means that we, as a family, together, loving one another, have 3-4 activities a week. This is doable. With constant ordering out of food, it’s even not that hard. But it can get stressful.
And let’s be honest: If there are no wrapped presents at all, the reason for the season would get a little squashed in disappointment. (I blame the parents’ of my kids’ friends. If THEY didn’t give their kids anything, their kids wouldn’t go to school and talk about their new toys and then I could give my kids a nice stick with a pocket knife and tell them to make a toy.)
So this year I’m not listening to or reading any “How to Focus During the Holidays” articles or podcasts. I’ve decided to use that time to wrap the gifts I purchased for loved ones.