Holiday Real Talk: Beyond the Glitter
Embracing the Chaos, Finding the Magic
Here we are, diving into the holiday season again, and I’ve got to say, it’s a mixed bag of glitter and chaos. We all know the drill: the endless to-do lists, the pressure to make everything just right, and that nagging feeling of never quite hitting the mark.
The other day, I was hiking with friends, and someone blurted out, “I hate the holidays.” It opened a floodgate – turns out, we all felt swamped by the season’s demands. It got me thinking about those pumpkins back home, the ones that have been sitting in my kitchen since early October, untouched, uncarved. They were a project that my teenager, still clinging to cherished family traditions, was committed to completing. Which, as happens with the best of plans, just never came to fruition.
I couldn’t bring myself to discard those pumpkins. Holding onto them gave me another opportunity to redeem myself as a mother, yet instead only magnified my feelings of mommy guilt. Those uncarved pumpkins became silent witnesses to an unfulfilled tradition, echoing the same pang of remorse I felt on those mornings when I'd wake up and remember I'd forgotten to move the elf again.
It turns out, hearing my friends' holiday gripes was oddly comforting. It made me realize that we’re all simply trying to navigate this festive-yet-frenzied time, doing our best to keep our heads above water. And I realized something profound: the pressure we place on ourselves to create a picture-perfect holiday season often overshadows the simple joys these moments are meant to bring.
Fast forward to this week, and I’m fully immersed in Christmas prep. While untangling strings of lights, positioning nutcrackers on the mantel, and hanging garlands, I found myself getting lost in the beauty of the season. Amidst all the hustle, there’s a comforting quality to these rituals, and an undeniable shift in the atmosphere at home. It feels warmer, more inviting, and brimming with a sense of anticipation for the holiday season.
But let's get real - the holidays aren't about ticking every box or living up to some Instagram-worthy standard. If my child has moved on from those pumpkins (and he has), it’s a testament to the fact that ‘perfect’ moments aren't what really matter. He’s already thinking ahead, eagerly asking about baking and decorating sugar cookies – and we're going to do that. After all, baking sugar cookies is practically in my DNA.
The point is the holiday season is what you make of it. It’s okay if not everything goes according to plan. It’s fine to drop some balls and not beat yourself up over it. What matters is that we find moments, however small, to just enjoy the ride – whether it’s a spontaneous cookie baking session or a quiet coffee break amidst the chaos.
So, as we roll through these next few weeks, let’s promise to cut ourselves some slack. Let’s make room for real enjoyment, minus the pressure. The holidays are about being with our people, in the beautifully messy, totally non-picture-perfect way that real life is.
Here’s to a holiday season that’s more about laughs and less about stress. Keep it simple, keep it real, and let’s have some fun with it.