The holidays and stress always seem to go hand in hand. Which is a shame, really, because the holiday season should be about family, togetherness, and giving. It should be about peace and goodwill toward others.
And yet, year after year, the complaints of holiday stress start rolling in right around the end of November.
I won’t pretend it’s easy. The shopping, preparing, organizing, and baking are enough to drive any mom a little batty this time of year. The to-do list is endless, truly. The minute you finally get the cards in the mail, another item on the list seems to need immediate attention.
Yes, the holiday season is a busy time of the year. There is no way around that.
What troubles me most about the reports of stress, endless errands, and exhaustion is that, when we allow our stress and emotions to take center stage, we miss out on the magic of the season.
We miss the excitement in our children’s eyes when we drive around looking at holiday lights.
We miss the genuine happiness that a single candy cane can bring.
We miss stories under the tree and hot chocolate-lined smiles.
We miss the wonder and fascination with a season that brings so much happiness to the little ones.
We miss the very things that we intend to enjoy.
So this season I’m not allowing the stress in. I am setting limits when it comes to stretching myself thin, and enjoying the magic that is my family instead.
I am savoring spiced cider with cinnamon sticks alongside my little ones and snuggling up with my husband when night falls.
I am racing around the house in search of the elf each morning, baking Christmas cookies, and taking night walks in search of beautiful lights.
I am taking the time to remember every little smile, and I am putting us first.
I…am savoring the magic.
Won’t you join me?