I hope y’all all had an enjoyable Christmas (if you celebrate Christmas) and are recharging getting ready for the New Year.
I have seen quite a few posts from people regarding if they did enough to make this holiday spectacular for their loved ones.
I’m here to tell you that YES… YES YOU DID ENOUGH!
I know you can probably give me a million moments where one of your loved ones didn’t seem as overly excited as I am writing the above statement, however, I want to challenge you with something. What were they not overly excited about? Can you name 5 things that they were content and happy with? If so, then do that each and every time you think of the 1 thing they aren’t thrilled about.
I’ll be honest. Our family has been hit just like everyone else’s seemingly in the world with the COVID CHAOS as I like to call it. Now I honestly feel as though I was made for a pandemic. If I can stay home and not have to “people” for weeks on end it makes my introverted heart sing! However, we are on one military income and have 4 kids that range from 11 to 6 years old. December 23 – January 18 covers 3 of our birthdays, Christmas, New Year’s Eve and New Years Day. Our wallet is sucked dry this time of year REGARDLESS of COVID CHAOS or not. So when you add in COVID CHAOS it was overwhelming.
I went back to the conversation I had with my husband when we had 4 kids 4 and under. It seemed like there was copious amounts of toys and lots of frustration over accidentally thrown away small pieces during wrapping paper clean up. I remember talking then about making sure we set realistic expectations for our children during the holidays. I always said 3 gifts was enough for Jesus so it should be enough for our children. I didn’t always follow my own advice because I got sucked into the materialistic world and was working a good corporate job. However, this year I pulled out that mindset again. I did 3 gifts. Something they wanted, something they could wear and a book set or book.
I explained to my children when we went to Disney over Thanksgiving that we would be saving money so we can travel more now that they’re getting older instead of going crazy with Christmas presents. Not everyone was thrilled with this mindset. In fact, I had someone in tears both Christmas Eve night when he opened a present that was clothes and then again Christmas morning when he realized he ‘only got 1 toy.’ Did it tug at my heart? Yes, but I quickly realized my other 3 children were easily understanding and maybe I just needed to explain things in a different way to him.
He’s 6… he will be 7 on January 18th. I reminded him that he can tell me what he wants for his birthday. I also reminded him of all the fun stuff he got at Disney and what our plans are travel wise with the family over the next few weeks. I like to think he’s a cusp kiddo. Not based on astrology, but simply he’s at that transition of becoming a little kid and no longer a baby/toddler. He’s learning how to comprehend and it’s okay if he cries because he wanted more, that doesn’t mean I’m a bad mom. But it’s equally okay if I don’t give him more because that doesn’t mean I’m a bad mom either.
It’s so easy to fall into the mentality of ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ and can be draining mentally and financially. I’m sure you’ve seen the posts with people saying they want to live a minimalist lifestyle and focus on activities to do versus materialistic gifts. I know I’ve certainly seen quite a few of them. What you may not realize is there’s a tough transition going from one lifestyle to the next. I learned that it was important for me to have at least one kid not be excited about this new approach to holidays because it taught me that he’s young and still growing. If everything was easy then we wouldn’t ask for advice right?
So if you’re sitting here the day after Christmas wondering if you did enough… Mama, you DID! You did enough 365 days of the year and you will continue to do enough for the next 365 days of the year. I know he will have a smile ear to ear with the upcoming plans for our family and that will far outweigh his tear-filled eyes when he opened his first Shel Silverstein book.
I talk a lot about giving people grace, especially during COVID CHAOS. Most importantly, give YOURSELF some grace mama. It’s not easy. Be proud of the boundaries you set for the holiday and know that you can have an amazing January 10th or whatever day you have something planned for your kiddos that will easily overwhelm this minor hiccup. You’re doing great and this year is anything but normal. I know that’s not an excuse but it is a factor. My kids don’t need a toy over my ability to pay the power bill. They don’t need a new video game instead of running water.
My Christmas was very lowkey. We had my husbands dad and step mom in town with my husbands two youngest brothers. We’ve been doing family things like cleaning house, movie night, home projects, learning how to make icing/sugar cookies, learning how to clean frijoles, learning how to make homemade tortillas and more. These moments right here… this is why I loved my Christmas. Do you remember the toys you got at your child’s current age? Heck, I have 4 kids and I can’t pinpoint 1 single gift for any of my Christmas’ except for the annual ones like silver dollars from my gma or a barbie ornament from my gma. What’s that mean? It means my mom did enough. It means you too did enough.
Take a deep breath mama. As you let it out, remind yourself of all the positives of the day yesterday. Maybe create a bucket list of ideas/trips you would like to do with the family in 2021! I have 3 trips already happening in 2021 and I continue to remind myself that each time I am met with a not so happy child that I have an awesome surprise already planned for them. Eventually they will realize how much time and effort goes into holidays and the difficulties of adulthood haha.
What was your favorite memory made on Christmas 2020?
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