Oh, the American Christmas.
The gift cards, the stress, the 987 presents for kids, the screaming over the last Hatchimals (but seriously, I know they’re so last year, but what are they?!), the over-spending of money, under-spending of quality time, and then it’s over.
Not this year, my friends. Not for me and mine. Here’s a list of things that makes the holiday season, your life even, a bit more bearable.
Scarlett is just over a year, so it’s even easier for us to get this down. As a semi-minimalist, I already don’t enjoy STUFFING. Scarlett, and most children in my opinion, don’t need 987 toys. We’re experienced-base, trip-oriented and live accordingly. We do:
1. Something you want
2. Something you need
3. Something you can read
To me, birthdays are for doing slight extra. Scarlett, it’s Jesus’ birthday, so sit down.
We do it this way so that she grows up expecting less and experiencing more. It’s more important for me that we are well traveled rather than well stocked.
To each their own.
If it’s too much, just stop. Your aunt’s-cousin-sister-mother-friend-babysitter? Give it a rest, already. What I will say, is that if you are truly THAT LIT UP about giving every single person you’ve ever came in contact a gift, fine. However, don’t expect the same in return for people like me are not about the Extra Stressed Life, and I show my love and gratitude in other ways. #SucksToSuck
Stop over committing.
Just this year I really started to implement this more in my life and let me tell you, it’s a game changer. This goes for the holidays and more importantly, your entire life. If you are going to end up spending more time rearranging your schedule just to fit it in than the actual event itself, just no. I’ve been in a season of big-time growth this year. I’ve kept my head down, turned down social events, happy-hours etc to get to where I’m at. That doesn’t mean that I don’t love my friends, that’s just where I’m at and that’s okay in my book. I’m in no way saying that you should swear off any hopes of a social life or dates with your spouse in order to be successful. Actually, I mean the opposite. Do what you can, know that seasons (especially the holiday kind) are not life times and if you can’t fit it don’t force it. If you don’t want to make two thousand cookies for another bake sale because you want to stay in your jammies with your family, you can and you should.
Be authentic and honest with yourself. Make an effort when you feel called, not when you feel obligated. If you don’t like your family, make one. Surround yourself with people you do want to be around and that is your family. If your past holidays have done you dirty, start new traditions in order to create new memories like I have.
Adopt a family or donate your time to a cause you are passionate about.
Say no when you need to.
Eat Chinese food on Christmas Eve.
Spike your hot chocolate before you go look at Christmas lights.
Drink in the moment your kid get hits by the holiday spirit and lights up brighter than your Christmas tree.
Fall in love with the look on their face.
Sing Christmas carols in your underwear/diapers, using a dinosaur as a microphone.
And for fuck sake, pull out the strand of icicle lights from your ass and remember that magic exists, if you let it.