Saturday, December 18, 2010

How Frantic Are You?

There are 7 days left until Christmas. So how frantic are you?

We went to the Girl Scout Awards potluck last night. It was a full house. And I looked around the room and noticed 2 very different vibes coming from the majority of the women.

There were the ones with smiles the whole night, relaxed laughter and a look of contentment and joy.

And then there were the ones that were having a good time but were strung tighter than a drum. You could see that even though they were enjoying themselves, their minds were on their to-do list. Their shoulders were a little tense. The lines around their mouths were a little tense. You could see it around their eyes.

And then this morning I read a wonderful blog post by a woman that has opened her eyes to her past Christmas behaviors and decided to step off the merry-go-round. Ya'll, she wasn't even allowed to eat the "pretty" cookies when they baked when she was growing up....and she had carried it over to her family. And her husband, who was relaxing and enjoying his holiday, finally spoke up and told her he pretty much did not appreciate how awful the month of December was at their house because of her plans and expectations.

Holidays are supposed to be about love and family. And family should be first.

I wonder, how does your husband feel?

I have something to say to all my friends that are so stressed and crazy right now.

Its about our traditions in the month of December.

Friend.... how many of the traditions you carry forward (massive amounts of baking, hosting, accepting a million invites...etc) were started in a whole other generation?

Because today's world, is not your mother or your grandmothers world.

We are a solid 2 car family generation. This means for those that have not joined the career women, you have usually filled up that car with kids and a million classes and activities. You are NOT the home-maker of your mother's generation. You are far more busy and involved outside the home just by opportunity alone (in most cases). AND we've learned to take care of ourselves and carve out time for the gym and a select group of close friends (if we are lucky) .

And if you are a career woman -- who in your background started those traditions? Was it another full time worker with children in 3 activities a week? Or did she work and then pretty much stay home to take care of the family - with limited activities thrown in here and there? (Lets face it, they just didn't HAVE the kinds of activities out there for kids that they have now.)

I really want all of you to look at the traditions that make you crazy and question their practicality in your life.

Because I don't know about you, but I DO NOT want to pass on traditions that turn my kids into over-stressed over-achievers during Christmas. I want them to enjoy it.

I want to pass down love, relaxing together and lots of laughter and memory making. Memories that include MOM, out of the kitchen - or whatever it is that is taking the time away from your families. The only cookies they really care about you baking, are the ones they get to help with and make themselves. And who cares how dirty their clothes or the kitchen gets when your only expectation of holiday baking is what makes your little family happy??

Now - I'm not the norm and I know that. I don't expect that many other people on the face of the earth take it as easy as I do around Christmas. I try to have all my shopping done and get all packages and cards in the mail on Dec. 1. This leaves me free to accept or give invitations the whole month long. It makes the inevitable holiday parties very easy. And I don't accept or give many invites. Instead I expect that there will be things related to the kids that will always trump the grown-up stuff. A Christmas concert. An end of the year Girl Scout Potluck/awards ceremony. But family night at the school? No - don't care if it is free, its also crowded and hot. Instead we let MM pick out what she'd like to do with just our family. (It was McDonalds - double yuck.) We were going to drive around and look at Christmas lights also but the roads were too bad. So we grabbed some eggnog on the way home and turned on a Christmas program showing on tv.

Anyways -- I'd like to challenge all my friends to take a good look at your Christmas traditions. If they are stressful, are you doing too much? Are they realistic to pass down to your children? Remember - you grew up in a different time so what you remember the fondest, might not translate so well with your kids lifestyle in this day and time. Think about it.

Have an incredible Christmas! Wishing peace of heart, non-stressed, joy-filled activities for all of you!


  1. Thankfully, our Christmas traditions don't include too much frantic-ness. It's the soap business that does. Today was my last Open House (I think), and I'm looking forward to putting everything away for awhile. :) Merry Christmas, Autumn!

  2. Your post struck a cord with me...growing up it was all about the pomp and circumstance. We dressed up in our very best to eat the very best food and it was all about fitting into some ideal "Christmas card" scene. When it was my first Christmas in England with my husband, I made a big fuss about getting the right clothes etc etc and my husband kept shaking his head in confusion. He couldn't work out why I needed a fancy outfit and why I was insisting my then 7 year old daughter should be dressed in a very uncomfortable wool kilt. All became clear on Christmas day when the family gathered and everyone was in jeans. It was comfortable, laid back and I was over dressed like a stuffed turkey! I'm happy to say that was the last Christmas with the pinchy Christmas clothes and I've learned how to relax and just enjoy a day with family and laughter...that's what it's all about!