It is too easy to get caught up in the insanity that is the holidays. Every year, I always find myself all wrapped up in the "have tos":
I have to decorate the house the second I have finished digesting Thanksgiving dinner.
I have to remember to have SOMETHING to give to EVERYONE.
I have to bake 27 trays of cookies before Christmas Eve.
I have to make at least 12 handmade gifts this year.
I have to go to my company holiday party and I have to not get drunk even though there's a perfectly good open bar right there, because people remember those things.
I have to make sure Peyton understands, at every spare waking moment of her day, that OMGCHRISTMASISCOMINGGGG! Baby Jesus! The nativity! Santa! HO HO HO.
(What's that, Peyton? You don't understand why Baby Jesus is in a manger with the donkey and the sheep and Santa terrifies you because you are only 18 months and SERIOUSLY?! Oh. Okay then.)
...and so on. I'm sure you get the picture.
The fact of the matter is, the "have to" mantra during the holiday season leads to some serious burnout before Christmas week is even upon me. By the time the whirlwind ends, getting all of those "have tos" done between December 1-23, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day come and go and next thing you know it's December 26, time to go back to work and retail stores are putting out their Valentine's Day and spring merchandise. I was in Michaels yesterday and they were already moving and consolidating their Christmas stuff. Christmas isn't even here yet! That is such a bummer.
It's already December 21st. I am (almost) finished my Christmas shopping, I am (almost) finished wrapping everything. My house is (totally) decorated, even though I keep forgetting to turn on those pesky outside lights (this is why a timer is a great idea, darling!). I have decided that I am not baking cookies...because a.) I don't want to this year, and b.) there is just not enough time left. I've ordered my Christmas cards and they are in my possession in addressed envelopes, but haven't mailed them yet because going into the Post Office at this time of the year to buy stamps gives me major anxiety.
But I have decided that I am riding out the last few days before Christmas just soaking it all in. Remembering what Christmas is about (not Santa and presents, btw). Actually enjoying wrapping presents instead of seeing it as another chore to do. Driving by a house with lights and taking a moment to appreciate and admire the work that someone put into their decor even if it was freezing and they really didn't feel like it because, hey, Christmas.
And next year, I hope I remember the same thing: let's take it all in, friends. They don't call it "the most wonderful time of the year" for nothin'.
I've got lots of pretties planned for my shop in the new year! Can't wait to share them all with you!