Reminder to Self: Don’t Forget to Enjoy the Holidays

This is easier said than done.  Through all the hustle, bustle, and stress of the holidays, I have to stop and remind myself what this whole season is about.  It isn’t about how I am going to stretch my money to buy gifts, what desserts to bake because I can’t make up my mind, the million presents I want to buy kids, being stuck in traffic because I decided to go to that store that was having the big sale for toys, waiting in a mile long line at the store, trying to find that stupid coupon so I can get an extra 20% off, or feeling guilty about not being able to buy for everyone.  Yes, those are a part of the season, but they shouldn’t be what takes over the true purpose of the holidays.  What makes Christmas, Christmas, is different for everyone, but I think it all centers on the same things:  family, love, giving, food, and music.  For me, Christmas means seeing the amazement on my children’s faces as they open up their gifts, the “oh wows” as we go around looking at Christmas lights,   sitting down with family for a delicious meal, drinking hot cocoa by the fireplace, smacking down on cherry crisp with a dollop of ice cream, snuggling under a blanket with my kids and husband as we watch Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer, and putting my kids in their fuzzy, cozy, warm Santa pajamas.  Allowing myself to get overwhelmed takes away from the joy and good that this season brings.  It is a time for community and spending quality time with family and friends.  It is a time to slow down and be thankful for all that we have, even though at times it reminds us of what we don’t have.  It reminds me of the money I don’t have, the family and friends that I am apart from and miss dearly, and my grandparents who have passed away.  Then I try to focus and appreciate on what I do have:  a supportive and hardworking husband who loves me, two beautiful and healthy children who are the light of my life, my health, a roof over my head, food in my belly, the opportunity to stay at home and go to college, and a wonderful support system of family and friends.  Life is about making memories and the times we have enjoyed with each other.  It isn’t about the material things, I don’t even remember what I received last year for Christmas, but what I do remember is the warmth and joy that I felt from the people I was around.  My son loves getting new toys and my girl loves to get stickers and dolls, but what I know they love more is being cuddled and kissed and being silly with them.  So when the holidays start to stress me out and I worry about what gift to buy, I need to remind myself that the best and greatest gift I can give is my time and love.  Of course, this only applies to me, so I’ll still expect a bunch of lavish and expensive gifts from everyone else, mmmmmkay? 


So what stresses you out about the holidays?  What are the things you enjoy about the season?  I would love to know!

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