Have you heard of the Mommy-blogger Kristina Kuzmič? She is an entertaining vlogger whose main message to parents is “chill out, you are doing fine.” My sister is constantly posting her videos, and she recently had an entertaining one where she pretended to be in therapy complaining about all the things her parents didn’t do for her for Christmas (like how they never did Elf on a Shelf which never taught her personal responsibility so she turned out a failure, etc.). Essentially the message is “you don’t have to run yourself ragged trying to do every single holiday thing for your kids.” This is a great message for my sister. She has five kids, one of whom is autistic, and it is a good reminder to her that she doesn’t have to sacrifice her mental health for the sake of keeping her kids entertained.
For me, though, I’m super excited to do all this stuff (not Elf on a Shelf, that is crazy to me - but the rest of the holiday stuff). I only have one kid, and this is the first time he will be old enough to start to understand any of the Christmas joys and traditions, so I am going out of my way to establish traditions this year. I have spent more than I care to share on new decorations for the house - things that we will pull out every year. I just ordered all the cookie cutters and icing piping things for decorating cookies so we can use the same shapes for years to come. I have a Christmas-themed doormat and Christmas-scented candles and am completely obsessed with Christmas gnomes for some reason.
I think the difference between my sister and me is just a matter of exposure. See, I only get to see Christmas through the eyes of my son experiencing the magic once, and I am all-in for this new joy. I only get this time once in my life. With five kids spanning twelve years, she’s been in this a lot longer than I have or ever will be. While my sister had babies in her house for about 12 years straight, I will only ever have two years of life with a baby, and it’s already gone. In a blink of an eye, that experience is in my past, while for her it was a whole segment of her life.
So you better believe I am gonna cherish every second of making cookies and gingerbread houses and decorating the tree and reading the Christmas story in front of the fireplace and watching A Muppet Christmas Carol curled up with hot chocolate. When you only have one child, and you know you can’t have more, you only get every experience once.
My point is, regardless of whether you feel the need to take a step back and let things go, or you are ready to ramp up the magic, enjoy every second of noise, every Christmas carol, every look of excitement or wonder or pleasure. Don’t let familiarity or experience make you lose sight of just how special it all really is. Even if you have to keep things simple to be able to do that.