When my kids were born, people said to me things like “Oh, your first Christmas with kids! It’s gonna be fabulous. Kids make Christmas so wonderful.”
That year, and for several years after, I thought, that’s not true.
Everything was turned upside down. We were late for church, because we were scrambling to collect all the million baby things, the diapers, toys, bottles. Kaya would cry when we were supposed to be celebrating, and she’d sleep when we were supposed to unwrapping presents. Then she’d be awake when I wanted to sleep. I was just exhausted. (And on top of everything else, now I worried I was a terrible mother.)
It wasn’t fun. And on top of all the stress leading up to the holiday, I ended up with a 103-degree fever on Christmas Eve.
Christmas is my absolute favorite time of year. I love everything about it: the hustle and bustle, the songs, the find-the-almond-in-the-dessert tradition. But in the stress I was holding onto – in my belief that things had to be a certain way – I began to lose all that.
It culminated the year we spent Christmas Eve in the hospital, because Ty was dehydrated from throwing up. And I realized, This is ridiculous. It’s just not worth it. I’m losing what was once so special to me.
I needed to reframe my Christmas.
So the following year, I planned a little better. I let go of my expectations for what was “supposed” happen. I skipped some parties so I could get enough sleep. I didn’t eat every last cookie. I took care of myself.
And I reminded myself that not every tradition has to be exactly the way it was when I was a child. Each holiday would bring something new and wonderful. We were going to create new magic moments, and I didn’t have to plan them. They could just happen, when I sat back, let go, and let them.
By letting go of my stress, and welcoming the opportunity to make new memories, I found myself humming “Silver Bells” as I walked down the street. I bought wrapping paper before December 20th. And I woke up each morning refreshed and excited to plug in the Christmas tree. In other words…I came to love Christmas again.
So I invite you, no matter what holiday you’re celebrating, to check in with yourself. What are you clinging to so tightly that it’s making you stressed? What if you let go of it? What opportunities will you let in?
In my latest Moti Minute, I’ll show you one physical (and festive!) way to reframe your holiday. Comment below with your take on this. What are you letting go of, in order to make room for new magic moments?