A Sustainable Christmas: Three Tips For Calming The Christmas Chaos
I have no desire to talk about recyclable wrapping paper or saving Christmas trees. I do not want to add to your “what good moms do” list, or make you feel guilty about what kind of environmental footprint your Christmas is leaving on the planet.
Let’s leave that worry to Bill Nye the Science Guy.
My only concern is your sanity.
It is the beginning of December and I can already feel your holiday stress from here. Shopping, baking, budgets, naughty elves, sugared up children, a backlog of Hallmark Christmas movies on Netflix, a pile of gifts to wrap, and school programs to attend.
The list goes on.
(I am not listing holiday travel and family gatherings because I don’t want to send you over the edge.)
Here is the deal. Moms are the makers of “Christmas” and it is a big job. It is an important job and it is a job you want to do well. We all want Christmas to be special, fun and sooo memorable that it lives on forever in the heart of our child.
Let’s be honest we also want it to inspire them to keep coming back to our house year after year after year.
Is that last one just me?
Yeah, I didn’t think so.
I remember a Christmas I stayed up all night making the worlds best something or other for my daughter’s 2nd grade class party. I was so exhausted that I honestly can’t remember what it was I made. What I do remember is standing in the back of the room noticing, that despite the fact that I had totally impressed a few moms, not a single child noticed. Simply having a party was exciting enough for them.
I realized it wasn’t really my goal to make sure other moms had a Christmas to remember!
Total mom fail.
I learned that I was on a path of “making” Christmas in a way that I could not sustain. Even if I made it through that Christmas, what about the next one and the one after that when I had raised the bar of expectation for myself and everyone else, over and over again?
The big question is: are you creating a Christmas that is sustainable?
Is your to do list so long that you are losing sleep to get it done?
Are you finding yourself so busy doing Christmas for your family that you are not having Christmas with your family?
As moms, we always want to do things with excellence and there is nothing wrong with going the extra mile for our families, but there are a few things to ask yourself as you are making your list and checking it twice…
Does this achieve my goal? Decide what you want to accomplish this Christmas. You may want to teach the meaning behind old traditions or shake things up and do things in a new way. It may be your year to focus on gratitude. Maybe your family becomes the Secret Give for someone in need. You may want to start a new Advent tradition and learn to build anticipation. You don’t have to accomplish everything in one Christmas. Your kids will learn best if you pick one or two and dig in deep.
Do I need to let it go? As your children grow there will be new and exciting things to add to the list. It is sad, but sometimes we need to stop doing a loved activity to make room for something new. I promise it will be just as sweet and will add to and not take away from a lifetime of memories.
Does this give me room to grow? Leave room for unexpected moments. You have no idea what this month holds and if you are too scheduled and busy you may just miss something special or be too exhausted to enjoy it. Make sure your kids have the time to think and reflect and not just feel and react.
Momma, you deserve a wonderful Christmas just as much as your family. Treat yourself to sanity. It is a gift for yourself that will bless your family. So turn on the Christmas music, make a cup of hot cocoa, sit down, take a deep breath…and make a new list.