For some reason, this year I am just feeling extra Christmas-y and joyful.
I’ve always loved Christmas time, but I think in years past, I have given in to the stress of the holidays. There is just so much to do. So many class parties to attend, so many gifts to buy, and then there is the pressure to make each day leading up to Christmas special and wonderful for the kids, and of course make sure that we are teaching them about the true meaning of Christmas. Not only do we have Christmas to get ready for, but we also have to make Connor’s Christmas Eve birthday just as special as our spring and summer birthday celebrations. It can get so overwhelming.
A few weeks ago, during my quiet time, I realized that I was starting to get that little inking of holiday stress that can soon snowball into full fledged Melt Down Megan. And let me tell you, Melt Down Megan ain’t pretty! Melt Down Megan makes me do things like, for example, smash a cake that is stuck in a pan and bang dishes around and make an all around gigantic mess in the process and then storm out of the house in a huff to buy more ingredients to make another birthday cake since the first one was ruined. That was just an example, though. That definitely didn’t really happen.
But I digress. I was started to get a little stressed thinking about my seemingly never ending to-do list. And so I prayed about it. Such a novel idea, right? I’ve lived so many years stubbornly thinking that I can handle things myself. One of the biggest lessons I’ve been learning though my BSF study of Isaiah this year is that I can’t handle everything myself. I am not the one in control. I quietly heard God whisper to my heart to let go. Let go of being in control. Let go of the expectation of perfection.
I can honestly say that I’ve been able to let go and enjoy this holiday season. Even amidst the busiest days, I have (mostly) remained calm. We’ve done some really fun things, and there have been some things that I have just had to let go. Like I finally just decorated the Christmas tree by myself because I realized that a)the boys don’t really care about that part; they care about the part where we cut it down. And b) I have totally romanticized the trimming the tree tradition. In our family, it has historically been a time of fights over which ornament goes where followed by one of both boys totally spazzing out from sheer Christmas excitement. So one night, I just did it by myself while the boys played in the backyard and Derek cleaned up the kitchen. It was perfect for this year of learning to let go.
I am not supermom. Every moment of everyday does not have to be filled with Christmas activities. I decided that I wasn’t going to feel guilty about not doing any Christmas crafts with the kids or making homemade goodies for all our friends and neighbors. A funny thing happened though. Deciding that I was not going to be supermom and that no one expects me to do it all has filled me with so much peace and joy that I have actually baked more this year, spent more quality time with the kids making gifts, playing board games, or reading books. I decorated my house more, which I’ve historically been “too busy” to get to. Which just seems crazy because unlike years past, I have my photography business now which definitely peaked in November and December. In those two months alone, I took photos of 26 families. Just to give you an idea, I took pictures of 28 families from February though October. And then 26 in November and December. Such a huge blessing and I have loved every minute of it, but it definitely kept me busy!
The bottom line is I went into this Christmas season with my mind and my heart focused on the right thing, which is Jesus and the miracle of his birth. I went into this season knowing full well that it would be the busiest two months of the year, but I don’t have to get through it alone. It’s made all the difference in the world for me this year.
“You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the LORD, is the rock eternal.” –Isaiah 26:3
Merry Christmas, my friends!