I wrote a blog a couple years ago called the Holiday Hustle and the name is just too fitting for this season we’re stepping into for me to change it. It’s that time of year, we’re already busy with our jobs, kids, husbands, homes, pets, all. the. things. but then you decide to throw in the Holidays and all sh*@t hits the proverbial fan.
It’s the Holiday Hustle. We find ourselves here every year. We experience the stress every year but a whole year passes by, and then like childbirth, we forget all the bad and only remember the good parts and do it all the same AGAIN. I’m here giving you that warning, let’s call it a STOP sign to stop and think — let’s do it differently this year.
Learn to Say “No.” One of the best things I have learned to do in my older age (I didn’t say old for all of those giving an eye roll) is to say “NO” when that little voice in my head says, that’s going to be too much. We all feel it. In the moment it sounds like a great idea. In the moment you think, why not? I can totally help with that. In the moment it may even sound fun. But that little voice of reason in the back of our heads is shouting, YOU DON’T HAVE TIME FOR THAT. For this holiday season, let’s learn to say “No” when it’s really something we just can’t add to our plate. I promise you that other women and other moms get it! They are in the same place you are. It might even give them some shred of authenticity and give them what they need to do the same in their lives (and maybe even make you closer friends in the end too).
Less Perfect and more Presence. At this age, we’re all probably starting to host our own family Christmas and Thanksgiving. This sets off a whole other level of stress on us because we want everything to be PERFECT. We want the perfect, Pinterest-worthy decor, we want the perfect gifts, we want it all, well, perfect. But I’m here to remind you that while yes, we do want it to look great for the family, if it’s going to sacrifice your joy therefore taking away the joy from the family (we, as the wife and mom, set the tone for the home) then it’s simply not worth it. I’m not saying to delete your Pinterest app this season; I’m just saying to CHOOSE presence over perfection this season. Be a Mary even when you really want to be a Martha. Choose to enjoy your family instead of making sure the dishes are done. Overall, during the Holiday Hustle, choose your presence over perfection because that’s really the only thing your family, your kids, will remember, you showing up and the quality time, not how the decor looked.
Less Phones and more Phamily (see what I did there). Listen, I’m preaching to the freaking choir on this one. I love to just be sitting with the family and scrolling through my phone. I work from my phone most of the time, and I even read books on my phone. So putting the phone down is a HARD one for me. But I hear myself giving Kennedy lectures about her iPad becoming an obsession, and how she can’t pay attention to us when she’s watching it, and think, “Hi pot, this is kettle.” Our kids are watching everything we do. I even see Wilder looking at me wanting my attention while I’m stealing glances at my phone and think, wow. So maybe this Holiday season we can start a new habit in our home to put the phones down. Maybe it’s a dedicated hour during dinner with no media. Maybe it’s just 30 minutes of intentional, quality, face to face, time with our kids every day after school with no phones, computers or iPads in sight. I think that intentionality of once again, PRESENCE, will make a huge difference because people feel more loved when they feel you are THERE.
I’m sure there are so many other ways we can be better about handing this Holiday Hustle 2020, but if the pandemic taught us anything, it’s that our family needs us. Quality time and intentionality never made any family worse. Presence over perfection wins out every single time. So let’s make this year different. Happy Holidays, Friends!