Dear Frenzied Mom...
Christmas is a week away and I give you permission to phone it in. I give you permission to not bake a few dozen sugar cookies and then spend hours decorating them, only to be disappointed in the results. I give you permission to not keep up the Elf on the Shelf charade. I give you permission to not hand-write those Christmas cards that you haven’t had a chance to finish yet. I give you permission to do nothing else but be with your family, to take time to breathe, to give yourself space, so you can focus on the real meaning behind this season.
You see, I currently have two pumpkins sitting on my front porch. Yes, the Christmas decorations are up and lit, but still these pumpkins sit in the corner. I was about to toss them out a few weeks ago when a friend sent me a link to something she had seen on Pinterest. It showed how you could paint the pumpkins white and then decorate them to look like snowmen. How cute. So, I left the pumpkins there, thinking maybe I’d get around to taking on that craft. But I haven’t found the time yet. And I know I won’t. Why? Because if the tragic news of last week taught me anything, it’s that I don’t need to fill this rush towards Christmas with more stuff. I don’t need things to take up more of my time and distract me. Instead, I need to sit down and cuddle up with my family. I need to be thankful that we are all here, together and blessed. Instead of taking a few hours to morph some pumpkins into snowmen, I need to just be present with my family.
And I encourage you to do likewise.
We have a week until Christmas and it’s a time when stress can be high. There’s so much you want to do in so little time. You want everything to be perfect. You want to check off all those traditions and to-dos. You want this to be the most memorable holiday yet. I get it. I do. But what I’d like to suggest is that we make it memorable in a different way.
I just read something where this woman said so much was going on that she only hoped there would be time to celebrate the true meaning of the season. I couldn’t help but think of how backwards that is. You see, despite what Madison Avenue and a host of Pinterest pins might want you to believe, this season isn’t about a fat man in a red suit. It isn’t about a mischievous elf. It isn’t about iced sugar cookies or perfectly executed holiday parties. It’s about one thing: love. For God so loved the world that He gave His only son. This is the time to remember the real, tangible love that God put here on Earth for all of us. And it’s the time to be that love to others.
With all that happened a few days ago, we all want to desperately hold our children tighter and closer and longer. And we should. We should forgo the busyness that we fill our schedules with all in the name of Christmas. Instead, let’s choose love. Love for our kids. Love for our families and our friends. And also love for those kids who don’t have parents to hold them tightly and protect them from the world around them. But we shouldn’t stop there. We should love the grumpy cashier, the rude customer and even that pokey driver who can’t seem to figure out how a roundabout works (a personal pet peeve of mine). Love for that person with differing political views, socioeconomic status and religious associations. Now more than ever, this country and our world need love.
So, I give you permission to phone it in. Slack off when it comes to that holiday check list and instead love. That’s it. Just love.