We do a lot during this holiday season. We cook, bake, clean, shop, wrap, host, attend, plan and of course party along with orchestrating family photo shoots, and visits with Santa and sending out adorable, while also artistically relevant holiday cards.
It's a lot to do and a lot of pressure to put on our families and ourselves. But what if I told you, you don’t actually HAVE to do all of that stuff or even any of it?
To make a long story short (at least shorter than what's still on your Christmas to-do list), last year was rough for us. We welcomed our second child in November, just before Thanksgiving, and the extra medical bills left us, for lack of a better term, #brokeAF.
With a 2 year-old, a newborn and the meager state of our bank account, achieving my usual level of over the top holiday cheer just wasn’t feasible, so I just had to let it go! (Yes, that was a shameless #Frozen reference)
What did remain part of our holiday festivities were the things we held most dear. We downsized to just a 3ft tree. I put up a few simple decorations and I spent an evening baking cookies and watching White Christmas as I had for so many years prior. We skipped the fancy Christmas cards, exchanged a few small gifts and just focused on being together...and eating lots of cookies!
In having to pair down my usual holiday bustle, I found I also did away with much of the pressure and stress I put on myself and my family to get so much accomplished in so little time. What is truly wonderful is how having little puts everything into perspective. This year, I am happy to say we have much recovered financially and I have learned the lesson of letting go of things that are, apparently, more trouble than they are worth!
This is my holiday reminder to you: If expectation or too much activity is bogging down your holiday cheer LET IT GO and focus on the things that are truly important to you and your family.
Nobody will call you a scrooge if you send out generic holiday cards (or skip them all together) or forgo hours of baking for grabbing some cookies at the store. And if they do call you a scrooge, I am sure Santa has some room for their name on the ‘naughty’ list.