Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Guest what!?, part 2

Because this is how I perserve memories, I'm posting this here as well. :)

Anyone who blogs, or reads blogs, or is on Pinterest 
can probably relate to the way I feel this time of year:
Oh my goodness!!!
There's so much I need to do/make/eat!

So, this is a different kind of list. 
A list of things you DON'T have to do.

1. Christmas Cards. 
Okay, for reals though.
I may be alone in this, but I've never thought to myself,
"You know what!? We never received a card from the _____ family! How rude!"
I just don't think many people would notice.
Or just send them to the parents and grandparents.

2. New Christmas party attire. 
That awesome black dress you have?
It's perfect.
Wore it last year?
No problem. 
It's black. 
No one will notice.
Change up the accessories if you're panicking about it.

3. Cookies.
I'm not going to bake any this year.
The end.

4. The "to-do" list.
Man, I love to-do lists.
Write one up for almost every season and post it on my pantry.
Drive around and look at lights, drink hot cocoa, sit on Santa, build a snowman...
We can do these things, if we want.
However, making a list will make me feel like we HAVE to do it.
Not happening.

5. Elf on the Shelf.
Don't get me wrong, dude's cute.
But, I've heard countless stories about how stressful this is on the moms.
Can't your elf take a vacation?
Maybe he feels overworked and underpaid.
Maybe he needs to go check on other children for awhile.
I also hear the elf is a wonderful behavior modification technique.
But, you have tricks/skills for the other 11 months.
You could always fall back on those.
And why do the elves get to be naughty, but the kids do not?
I don't get that.

6. Christmas parties.
If you want to go, go!
If you don't, don't!
We're grownups. 
We get to decide things like this.
"I'm sorry I can't make it. Thank you for the invitation."
"I wish we could, but we have a prior engagement that evening."
Your "prior engagement" could be sitting in your pajamas, watching Elf with your family.
That's legit.

7. Travel.
It's becoming important for me to wake up in our own home Christmas morning.
So, I believe this is our last year of dealing with the craziness of holiday travel.
People understand that...or at least they should.
You get to call the shots for what works best for your family.
I'm thinking we may start visiting family a couple weeks before Christmas instead.
Airport security lines are the anti-Christmas.

8. Shopping.
I found the key in not getting wrapped up in the shopping fiasco...
Ignorance is bliss.
I didn't look at the ads in the newspaper.
We don't have cable (or basic channels), so I haven't seen even one commercial.
I have no idea what the hot items are.
My daughter has no idea what all the cool kids want.
(I know this will change as she gets older.)

9. Christmas music.
(Another gasp!)
I can handle traditional Christmas music for about 10 minutes.
There's something about the constant jingle of bells that grates on me.
If you like it, crank it up!
If you don't, turn on some Adelle, or something.
I've been enjoying the "Indie Holidays" station on Pandora.

10. Pinterest.
You can choose not to open it.
Or choose not to type "Christmas" into the search bar.
Choose not to feel like a crafting failure for not making your own pine tree and Christmas lights.
Choose not to feel like a bad mother for not implementing 5 new Christmas traditions this year.
You can choose to keep it simple.

Isn't that what Christmas should really be about?

Silent night, Holy night.
All is calm, All is bright.

Fall on your knees!
Oh hear the angel's voices.
Oh night divine.
Oh night when Christ was born.

Merry Christmas, everyone!
I hope this is a blessed time for you and your family!

PS- Let it be known that I don't believe any of those things listed above are bad.
They're just things that I at some point felt pressured/obligated to do.
I want to do less this year.
I want less stress, more peace.


Cathy V said...

way to go guest poster! totally here you on #5. I already made Mike promise that there would be no elf on the shelf in our family.

Rachel said...

Melissa- THANK YOU for this. I'm doing what I want this year. (I did come up with a Christmas card bc I wanted to. I like to look back at them each year. But I did go with pics I already had even though they're not perfect.) I am NOT going on Pinterest for as long as possible. Christmas or otherwise. Bc I am one of those people that's not crafty or creative and it will only make me feel bad. Yes, I could copy things, but even then I get down bc it doesn't look as good. So I'm avoiding it altogether. Even though my kids are still young, we stopped traveling last year.

I need these words of wisdom (or permission to not do) throughout the entire year, not just Christmas. Since having kids I have struggled with what I should be doing based on what other people do. I'm tired of it! I'm analyzing more on what I want to do and why. And I'm finding more and more that my instincts are right and good! Who knew!

Anyway, thanks for vocalizing what I've been feeling. It's nice to know I'm not the only one. I'm just not gonna do it! And my kids will be just fine! :)

Lindsey Jo said...

this is awesome. what a great reminder to do the things we do because we WANT to, not because we feel like we have to. i love pinterest and blogs and what-not, but they do have the tendency to make me wanna go into manic mode and make/bake/craft everything! btw, i do not like that stinkin' elf.

song said...

Amen sister! I agree with your whole list. This mama is not traveling or buying a new dress or or baking cookies or elfing or going to the mall or pinteresting unless I really feel like it will help me relish in Christ's birth. My 19 mo is getting a box of Kleenex for christmas because he loves it! The simple joys!

Brad & Rachel said...

Amen to that! Especially the "Less Stress, More Peace"
That is what Christmas is all about, people forget that, I forget that!

The Dupras Project said...

yes - that is all i have to say about that. oh and thanks :)

Erin said...

high five girl! Love your list of don't need to. I am trying to simplify while I still have the chance to do it, while the kids are young.