We’re five days into the month, Mama. How is that list of holiday to-dos feeling right now?
If it’s a little over-ambitious, chances are that’s becoming evident right about now. There’s just 20 days until Christmas – three weekends, including the one we’re in now – and if you celebrate Winter Solstice or Hanukkah, you’ve got even less time to work with.
For the Meagan-types reading this, I know: making those big, grandiose, pie-in-the-sky lists is half the fun of the holiday. Getting down to the detail work of making those big dreams come true, though, can be a drag…and leave you feeling like you missed the mark when much of it doesn’t materialize.
For the Sarah-types reading this, I know: you get so much satisfaction out of making a detailed, do-able list and checking it off, item by item. Executing a plan brings you joy, and that’s great – but it can be easy to get lost in the details, white-knuckling your way through masterminding activities you know you can do really well, but never leaving room for something a little more outside-the-box.
Maybe it would help to think of your list as a suggestion of things you “could” do, rather than things you MUST do? Remember, kids are much more easily pleased than we may think, and your home doesn’t need to be perfect to give your family exactly what they need this year.
Perhaps the Meagan’s among us can cut some of those over-ambitious plans out now, so we can instead invest energy into following through on just one or two big goals.
And maybe the Sarah’s out there could slash down the list of familiar fall-backs to leave more “white space” for spontaneity. (If that feels too hard to pull off on your own, how about appointing one of the freer spirits in your family to help you find some new things to try?)
Realizing you can’t – or just don’t want to – do it all, do it perfectly, or even just do the holiday just like you did last year, isn’t a failure: it’s a sign of sane motherhood. Plus, who wants to drag themselves across the holiday finish line with no energy left to enjoy the moment?
Before you get halfway into any commitments and realize too late that they just don’t matter – or aren’t going to happen – this year, take a few moments to “edit” your list so you can fully commit to what’s left. We’ve still got plenty of time to make this holiday loving, special, merry, and bright – as long as we are realistic about what we can – and want – to put our energy into.
ACTIVITY: Sit down with your holiday to-do list (or start making one if you haven’t yet.) After each item, ask yourself a few questions: why is this on the list? Is it likely I will have the time, energy, or budget for it? Do I really want to do it – or will it matter to someone I love? If I remove it, what other activities or experiences will become more possible?