Wednesday, January 5, 2011

WMW: I Challenge Myself to Enjoy a Holiday

People keep asking me "How was your Christmas?" And I'm not quite sure how to respond. I think mostly I feel guilty, and I must move past that, like yesterday.

The truth is, I didn't enjoy Christmas this year. I tried to force myself to, and I had my moments like the Friday night date shopping with my husband and stopping for cupcakes at a downtown shop afterwards that were absolutely memorable, but overall, I felt so stressed, so overwhelmed, and so let down by the weather that I just couldn't move past it.

I think I set up a lot of expectations for my son's first "real" Christmas (he was 4 months old last year) that I forgot all about just letting myself enjoy the season, no matter what traditions we accomplished. I really wanted to take my son to go see lights this year, but every weekend it rained or snowed, which is in no way normal for NC and really thrw a kink in our plans. I'm sure we could have figured out a way to go on a weeknight, but December was a tough month at work as well. Demands and goals and expectations have changed, and lately it has not been the kind of job where I can "take off early" one afternoon on a whim.

I also was excited to put our Christmas tree up, but again, with the weather, we never got around to it and the last weekend we were left staring each other, saying "it's not worth it to go through all that effort for one week". So my sweet toddler did not have a tree in his own home. Santa had to leave his presents laid out on the couch. My husband at least managed to dig out our stockings, so that was a tradition left unharmed. (Sidenote, kind of gross: apparently at some point in Dec 2009 my son spit up on a corner of his stocking...ewwww...what a surprise!!!)

We also started some new traditions of sorts: we attended the Christmas Program at our church, and invited our closest friends and their kids over for a spaghetti/Festivus gathering. I hope that these will be added to our busy Christmas event season, because I actually enjoyed them so much.

Jacob's nap schedule threw a kink into our plans as well: we ended up showing up anywhere between 30 minutes and 2 hours late for our family events. I'm not even kidding: we made it to exactly 2 out of 6 actually on time. This is not what I want to be known for. I also stress-ate my way through the holidays. I am not lying when I say I gained almost 10lbs since Thanksgiving.

Despite all of this, I feel very blessed to have a healthy, loving son who was the life of the party all December, a wonderful husband who has been my equal partner the last few months when it comes to childcare and getting everything done, amazing family on both sides of our marriage, a home, two jobs, two cars that run, and plenty of good food.

And my challenge this year to myself is to let these things go. I have to get past trying to get everything perfect. I stress so much, that I spend valuable time worrying about stress and what I have to do next that I forget to just live in the moment and enjoy it. Even if the kitchen is dirty. Even if I don't have a plan for dinner. Even if I shouldn't be taking a 10-minute break to blog because I have a deadline at 5PM that I cannot miss today.

To quote my friend Candy, this year, I will own you.

(Prompted by Working Mommy Wednesday. Please join us, it's FUN!)


  1. As I find myself rushing through this pregnancy, I'm challening myself to enjoy it more as well. It's so easy to get caught up in what needs to be done, what "should" be happening, and all of that. {Oh and we only had our tree up for 2 weeks - 1 week before and 1 after. And that was just plenty for us!}

  2. It's so easy to get caught up in things and overwhelmed that we forget to enjoy them. Sorry you're feeling guilty about Christmas but I can completely understand the feeling and the guilt!

  3. This Christmas wasn't my favorite least I'm hoping that means this year's Christmas will have to be better!
    I used to get really caught up in making things perfect and the disappointment that followed when it wasn't. I have to credit my husband for helping me out with that. He's very laid back and has taught be a lot about letting go of the small stuff. Every once and awhile I get hung up on something, but I am a lot better than I used to me. I hope you find some peace of mind this year!!

  4. it's ok!!! your son won't remember there wasn't a christmas tree. and while it would've been fun, it's ok. you can look back and laugh about it later. take a deep breath.
    and you know, i always tell people we'll be late b/c of nap schedules. i'm a nap-nazi so it's something i can't give up!! ;)

  5. We are definitely on the same late page! Just think if we showed up to an event together we might arrive at the same time!!! LOL. I also agree that we put too much stress on ourselves to have perfect holiday's. Thanks for sharing so honestly.

  6. Thanks so much for your honesty. This was a hard Christmas for me too -- way too much to do, and I freaked out a little bit. Glad I'm not alone.