Friday, December 20, 2013

Christmas - When it's GOOD to Be Busy

I always thought that this was the season where even people who normally aren't full of happiness and cheer were. But this week I've been getting just a bit frustrated at how...grinchy the overall tone has been.

Seriously? Am I alone in my merriness?

My Facebook feed is full of We Don't Do Santa and I Forgot to Move the #$@! Elf and I Hate Wrapping and Don't Expect a Card From Us and Bah Humbug.

My Bloglovin' feed is even worse. The Elf is Dead.  Christmas Cards Are Fake. Why You Shouldn't Buy Presents.  Don't Invite Me to Your Cookie Swap.

Now before anyone thinks I'm going after them personally, I'm really not. I've read your posts. I've read your articles. You have a reason for feeling the way you do, and of course you are perfectly welcome to do whatever you want to do this season. If baking stresses you out, don't bake. If cards aren't your thing, don't do them.

But the only thing that's getting me down about December right now is the abundance of "downer" posts. Wrapping stinks. Cards stink. The Elf stinks. Santa is a lie. Baking is for suckers. Shopping is evil consumerism. I don't think I've had more than one or two posts in my Bloglovin' feed that feel...merry.

Today at MOPS I realized that it's not just the online community. Some of the moms at my table were chatting as we ate our brunch about how stressed out they were, how busy, how overwhelmed. Someone asked me how I was "coping".

I said "Yeah, I'm pretty busy. But it's all good stuff, so I really can't complain".

The mom who asked stared at me for a moment and said "well, now I feel awful! I'm trying to think of something I'm busy with that's bad, and I can't! I've become one of those people who complains about her bounty!"

I swear, that wasn't my intention (and no worries, she and I were laughing and comparing anecdotes within a minute), but I really don't let Christmas bring me down. A few years ago, I made the resolution to myself that I wouldn't. Now that I have the girls, and I've seen the wonder and magic that the season brings them, I resolved to enjoy every moment of it. And so far, it's worked.

I still send cards.

I still decorate my house.

I still shop.

I still wrap.

I still socialize.

I still bake.

I still move an elf.

I haven't really cut much out. In fact, since Madison became a little person with a big social life, I probably do more.

But I'm not stressed. I'm having fun.

Sure, I'm busy. But I've decided to not let that overwhelm me.

I'm still tying bows onto the banister. My cards arrived late. The candles I bought for the windows were not only orange, but not LED and burned through a set of batteries in under 24 hours. I just managed to get the shopping done yesterday.

Sometimes the elf moves right after the girls go to bed. Sometimes he moves when I race downstairs seconds before the girls get down there. Some days I mean to have him leave a note (he's a model citizen, so there's no mess to make/clean up) and he doesn't.

I got the girls a decent amount of gifts. Not an abundance, but not a limited amount. I love that I can take this one day and spoil them a little, which I try desperately to avoid all year long. It took me a little bit to make sure that the two girls were more or less "equal", but again, I didn't stress about it. I loved going out and wandering around the stores - from Black Friday to yesterday.

I'm really enjoying the season. The build up. The magic.

I'm loving the Christmas lights as we drive home in the early darkness. I'm loving our mailbox stuffed with Christmas cards. I'm loving the treats and festivity that are everywhere from church to the grocery store. I love that Madison comes downstairs every single morning and roars with laughter that her elf is...on a different shelf.

Yes, I'm busy. But I'm good busy.

I just won't complain about the fact that I'm sharing greetings with our friends we may have almost lost touch with - a little late, but sharing our family nonetheless. I won't complain that baking takes longer with a sous chef who hasn't quite mastered stirring while keeping all the ingredients in the bowl. I won't complain that I have to wrap gifts that I was fortunate enough to buy for family and friends that I'm fortunate enough to have. I won't complain that my children love the holiday magic - and I'm the one who makes it. I won't complain that my beautifully decorated house took some effort to get there.

I'm not even suppressing complaints that are threatening to bubble up to the surface. I honestly don't feel them.

Is everything perfect? Of course not.

But everything is Merry and Bright - and I won't complain, even if our Christmas is White.
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