You’ve compromised. You’ve made the best of it. You’ve soothed your little ones’ disappointments and fears. You’ve smoothed over rifts with loved ones about broken plans, or you’ve come up with safer alternatives. You’ve balanced your child’s needs with the Greater Good (not ever easy to do, mama.) You’ve dealt with worries about health, worries about mental health, worries about money, worries about relationships. You’ve fed and clothed and soothed your people, you’ve run yourself ragged to create holiday joy and magic; in short, you’ve mothered your ass off, friend.
Whether you opt to forego most of your usual holiday traditions, or come up with a not-the-same-but-still-fun compromise this year, don’t forget that the elements that make your holiday special: your love for the people close to you, your spirit of giving, your faith, your family, and yeah, your love for glittering baubles or sugar cookies…all those elements are still there. It’s up to each of us to craft a 2020 version of a holiday that makes the most of what we can do, while acknowledging that it’s awfully hard sometimes to give up what we can’t.
I admit, I have gotten no small amount of pleasure out of the little, incremental “wins” of saving 20% here and there, or watching $10 or $20 cash back on purchases stack up into a decent little pot of cash.
And this experience perfectly illustrated how sometimes taking a few minutes of effort to set yourself up for a reward can be SO worthwhile.
This year, big wins may have felt hard to come by. But there are still little wins to be had, and they totally count – it just may take a few minutes, some effort to get started, and the willingness to slow down and step outside your usual way of doing things.
How you feel about your holiday experience will absolutely affect the way your family feels about it. (Go ahead, ask a therapist.)
But Mom finding joy in the holiday isn’t just better for our kids, but it’s also better for US – and that’s reason enough.
Whenever I watch old movies and read books set in bygone eras, I’m struck by how late they shopped, how they’d wait until Christmas Eve to trim the tree. If even Donna Reed’s character in “It’s A Wonderful Life” – the quintessential mom and housewife – didn’t drag out her Rubbermaid bin of ornaments until December 24, should we really hold ourselves to a higher standard?
My point: despite what Instagram would have us believe, there’s no such thing as “too late”. No matter when you start, it counts.
Depending on your spiritual beliefs, a ‘miracle’ may mean very different things to you. Divine intervention, a manifestation of energy, or simply happy coincidences; no matter your take on how they happen, I think we can all agree that they happen – right?
And what I’m struck with is how often the right thing happens just when you need it most, and how they sometimes cluster together, as though purposefully set there to get your attention.