December 23, 2009

Happy Holidays - Really.

Lots and lots and lots of gingerbread!

This time of year, motherly duties get amped to a different level. There is a house to clean, laundry to wash, kids to manage, extra shopping to do, holiday cards to send, parties to attend (or throw), rehearsals and concerts to perform in or attend... That list could go on indefinitely. A lot of us cram activity into every corner of our calendar and drag our families along for the ride.

Instead of enjoying the events that should create positive memories for us, we can end up racing from one thing to the next - just hoping we'll finish on time. I get grumpy, overwhelmed and stressed out by my normal list of things to do, never mind a holiday list! Usually, I find myself saying a lot of, "Wait a minute," "Let me just finish this first," or "Shhh...Just be quiet for a minute so I can think!" By the time the holiday arrives, the preparation leaves me feeling exhausted and anticlimactic.

This year, we made a resolution at our house. Instead of spending our holidays racing around or acquiring new stuff (after all, we just got RID of a bunch of stuff), we decided to buy fewer presents - like two small gifts per child - and focus more on making little memories with our kids, enjoying each moment as it comes! We baked cookies, drove around looking for Christmas lights and picked out and decorated the tree - together. So, we broke more than one treasured ornament because my three year old is really fast and grabbed them before I could stop her. I wouldn't trade one moment to get those ornaments back.   I don't want to miss out on the fun the holidays are supposed to be because I was too busy planning for them to enjoy my kids, friends and family. Today is the day to start enjoying every minute of life!

Happy Holidays, friends. May you stop and breathe - and be grateful for the love surrounding you!

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