Fall is in the air.
The gentle breeze that cools you off first thing in the morning fills the air. The leaves fall around you, and the cup of coffee held firmly in your hands warms you as you sit on your porch, watching the sun rise. It’s beautiful. Serene. The holidays are near and the excitement of all that’s to come fills your mind.
The shopping. Cooking. Baking. Wrapping. Decorating. Visitors. Laundry. Why is there so much laundry? And the dishes….
It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.
Let’s be honest—it’s stressful. Headache-inducing and debt-raising.
While all the things above are true, dread also finds its way in to ruin the serenity of the holidays. The absolute joy of watching friends and family enjoy your homemade apple pie at Thanksgiving, and your friends happily opening the presents you knew they’d love. Yes, the holidays are filled with laughter and family, but also a lot of stress and obligation. Wrangling the kids after an early morning of ripping open presents to go house-to-house for visits can be exhausting, as you worry whether they will act okay with no nap and very little sleep (Or toss the sweater their grandma knitted by hand because it’s not a toy). The stress of cooking never dissipates as you worry about the timing of everything, because people are coming over at noontime on the dot. Quickly, the joys of the holidays fade into the background of the stress.
Do yourself a favor and save your holidays!
I’m not saying no family or visits, but set expectations in advance and do what works best for your family. If your children needing a nap before visitors is a must, do it. Or you simply want them to enjoy their new gifts before whisking them away, it’s okay to set those boundaries. Those memories and moments in your pajamas sitting amongst the wrapping paper and watching your children play are equally as important. Making your own memories and traditions as a family is equally as valuable as the old traditions.
It’s about finding balance among the absolute joyous chaos that are the holidays. Not going broke trying to make people happy with trivial gifts or fretting over your stuffing because it looks a little dry; it’s in the moments, the memories and traditions that seem to find their way into our lives year after year.
So, bottle up those memories, start those traditions and set the expectations early on. You should get to enjoy your holidays, too, not just survive them.