Every year I try to stay calm as the holidays approach and the anxiety sets in. I tell myself that we are not going to go overboard with toys and gifts this holiday. I say that we are not going to accept every invitation for every Santa meet and greet/train ride/ or go see these amazing Christmas lights RIGHT NOW.And then I start to see other Moms’ posts on the Facebook.
You’re done with your shopping?
You bought every toy that wasn’t nailed down?
You got every decoration from every Homegoods in Fairfield County?
Well done, sister friend. But that ain’t me, babe.
Yes, we are going to be at a house when the famous Long Hill Fire Truck featuring Santa delivering a toy to each lucky kid comes around. And yes, we will PROBABLY go somewhere like Bass Pro Shops for the obligatory yearly photo in which 75% of my children will probably be scowling. (Pro-Tip – get to Bass Pro IMMEDIATELY when the doors open, head right to the Santa area, get your “appointment ticket” and then pretend you are at a museum/zoo until it’s your time to show up for the pic. Bring bribe snacks. Keep your anxiety in check.
As I am typing this, my heart is starting to race. The anxiety is creeping in. The toy I want to get my kid is unavailable anywhere, and hucksters like Amazon are featuring it at a mere 3 TIMES IT’S RETAIL PRICE?
Why didn’t I start shopping in August like my friend Summer? What is wrong with me? Do I not love my kids as much as these other pro shoppers?
Ok – Settle down, Kelly. Of course you do. And this Christmas is going to be just as magical and entertaining and full of love and gifts and great meals and togetherness as last year and all the years that went before it.
Because Christmas just IS. It is magical. And my kids will get some of the stuff on their lists, and be thrilled about it. And we will talk a lot about our privilege and how lucky we are and the abundance that we and our friends and family enjoy.
And we will give.
We will give, and we will eat, and we will celebrate, and we will reflect and just love one another.
And the truth is, the less I compare myself to others, the happier and less stressed I am.
And the more I trust my instincts about what is ENOUGH for my family, the happier we will all be.
The more we give, the more we get.
But dammit, I am going to get that toy for my children, and I will NOT pay 3 times what it is worth.
That I can promise you.Happy Holidays all you fabulous mommas out there. I hope your holidays are just what you want them to be.
This post was originally posted on November 17, 2017
Kelly is a mom, friend, wife, daughter, sister, neighbor, writer, movie freak and a reader. She fancies herself a parental outlier in that she is an anti-helicopter, free range, hold-on- loosely kind of mom. She promises to be honest. And make you laugh. And think. And learn. And find more ways to revel in this journey of motherhood and personhood.