I’m going to share with you how lacking our Christmas traditions have been this year. We’ve hardly done anything. I had my Christmas boxes out for nearly a week before I finally put them out and decorated the tree. I haven’t been able to muster the energy to wrap our Christmas books so we can unwrap one each day for our usual book advent, so we’ve just been haphazardly reading them whenever I happen to remember. Which means we read several one day, and nothing for the next three. Our church is doing this really awesome Light the World service advent and I love the idea of it so much, it makes me feel warm and fuzzy, but we haven’t done a single day. No Christmas baking, no cookie decorating, no gingerbread houses, no hot cocoa and walks in the snow, no driving around to look at Christmas lights, no fun service projects planned. No intentional teaching-the-children-the-true-meaning-of-Christmas. I even fell asleep during our traditional reading (or listening to, as it happened this year) of Dickens’s A Christmas Carol. No friend gifts planned, no DIYs, and our annual photo book which I print and send to grandparents has barely been started.
I do have my Christmas tree up, most of my shopping done and wrapped, and we have been listening to Christmas music. And we might do cookies and look at lights. We’ll probably watch The Grinch. But that’s about it.
Every time I see a post on social media about something cool someone has done I can’t help but feel a little bit guilty. There is just so much more I wish I was doing for them that I just can’t seem to get around to doing. And a part of me thinks that doing those things would make me a better mother.
But also, I DON’T feel guilty. I don’t want to let myself feel too guilty about it. Nobody is perfect, nobody can do everything. I say: lets let go of the guilt of not doing everything. Lets let go of the expectations that we’ll create fun and magic for our kids during the holidays, every single day. Lets make it all about the low-key, minimal effort fun that we can make happen without breaking a sweat. Like letting your preschooler decorate the tree and leaving the ornaments where he places them, even if they’re too close together. Like writing a letter to Santa Claus, and waiting for him to write back. (We got our letter from Santa yesterday!) Like letting your kids eat a little more sweets than usual because its that time of year. Like arranging and re-arranging the pieces of your Little People nativity together, where Jesus is always placed at the center, with all the wise-men and animals as close to Him as they can get.
Christ came to heal a broken people. He came to mend our hearts and fill our souls. He doesn’t need us to do all the things. He came to remind us that we are good enough for His love, even, and especially, in our imperfect ways.