Christmas is a wonderful time.
Christmas is a stressful time.
Christmas is a wonderful time…
I could go on and on. Because both statements are certainly true and both statements certainly take their turns.
The truth is, however, that Christmas isn’t that stressful for me. Our celebration is low key. Our food is fun but doesn’t take days to prepare. We don’t have a strict schedule around here, so come on over and have a glass of champagne with us. (Hey, I’m German, so if there’s a celebration, there has to be Champagne).
But then there are the presents and I find those stressful.
We tried for years to go minimalist and even that was stressful. For one, you’re constantly explaining yourself. And on top of that, if you only give e.g., three little presents, those three had better be wonderful.
And then there’s the clutter…. Which is why I’m currently in a major decluttering process so that after the wrapping paper is torn off, our house doesn’t explode.
And least but not last, there’s my own gift…. perfectionism.
I LOVE to find the perfect present for the right person. And it took me some grief to understand that that’s only possible (in most cases) when I see people frequently. Otherwise, the gift search is fun for me but doesn’t really match their desires, and so I had to give in and wrap up gift cards for older nieces and nephews.
But for my own kids, I like to think big picture. Can there be a theme? And adventure? An experiment?
So last year, I had great ideas.
I built a vet clinic for my older daughter.
I built a coffee shop for my younger daughter.
Both were huge hits.
This year, however, I don’t have ideas like this. The girls are more into “ordinary” things and I honor this. But I still expected more from my own creativity. And that caused me to stress.
Until I let it go. Because grand ideas come and go. But more importantly, my own expectations are purely my own. And my kids will very likely not realize that this Christmas eve I’m not staying up to build.
But instead, I might just have a celebratory glass of champagne.
Here’s to ease, relaxation, and happy holidays.