I don't know about you, but we're five days into December and I already feel like Christmas is a bust. I had all these great plans. Celebrate St. Nicholas Day, learn about Hannukah, make home made gifts, lots of service projects and cookies and caroling. All those things that Christmas is supposed to have, right?
Well, life happened. We came home from Thanksgiving with terrible head colds/sinus infections. Rob puked for two days straight, we spent eight hours in two different ER's, the closing date on our house got pushed back to the 20th, we haven't packed a single box, my baby is in the "Christmas trees are toys" stage, etc, etc.
Sound familiar? Last year it was a new baby and a tonsillectomy. For you it may be financial strain, a family crisis, whatever it is you still want Christmas to be that wonderful magical season, but how are you going to pull that off? And more importantly, how will you avoid that feel of guilt or shame for not doing/being/baking enough?
Well, I'll tell you. No, no, I'll give you permission.
I give you permissions to take care of gift purchases online. Forget shopping local. Amazon is your friend.
I give you permission to buy one or two presents for your kids. I also give you permission to buy low-quality, non-eco-friendly, will probably break next week presents.
I give you permission to write a thank you note to someone and call it your Christmas service/Charity.
I give you permission to sing Christmas songs wherever you are and call it caroling.
I give you permission to NOT DO neighbor gifts.
I give you permission to NOT GO to that party.
I give you permission snuggle on the couch and watch Christmas movies all day without worrying about screen time.
I give you permission to bake cookies with the kids. Using premade, store bought dough.
I give you permission to have pleasant family meals, courtesy of the freezer section.
I give you permission to make your house feel Christmasy...with a cheap, vinyl tablecloth, a fake tree, and a few strands of lights. No ornament making, no stomping around the wilderness and cutting your own tree, no clearing off every shelf of your house to make room for the myriads of Christmas decorations. Put on a Pandora station. It's beginning to look a lot Christmas in here.
Just remember. You don't HAVE TO go. You don't HAVE TO buy. You don't HAVE TO make. You don't HAVE TO do anything that will make you feel more stressed, more strung out, more cranky, frustrated, anxious.
And most importantly, you don't have to feel guilty about it, either.