This time of the year is really something. The Christmas lights, carols and songs, festive events and time with loved ones truly make December the most wonderful time of the year. It’s almost as if we’re living on clouds throughout the month of December. Well, most of the time anyway.
If Christmas is meant to be such a peaceful and joyous time of year, why is it so difficult to relax and enjoy that time with loved ones? I truly wish someone had the answer. For me, it’s because my calendar fills up so quickly, and because I want my kids to experience the magic I once felt, I plan a lot. It’s also the fact that I strive for perfection around the holidays and end up missing the fun in the mess of it all. I think the stress this season brings is different for every family.
As we approached this month, and while we’re in the thick of it, I’ve been trying my best to be mindful of the fact that things may get chaotic this season. In my pondering, a provoking thought came to me (I’m pretty certain the man upstairs had something to do with it)… This is it. This is my children’s childhood. No rewinding. This is what they’ll remember when they think back on the holidays.
Do I want my kids to remember the fact that I was stressed and focused on all of the minor details? No. Will they? I’m not sure, only time will tell, but I have the ability to shape that. No excuses. These are the moments we’ll reminisce about when they’re older. These are the memories that will stick in their brains for years to come and these experiences will be a part of a bigger Christmas memory for them (whether good or bad).
Same goes for me too! Do I want to remember all of the Christmas cookies I baked, or would I rather have the sweet memories of giggles around the oven?
Being mindful during this time of year is so tough. It takes work and patience, but it’s so worth it. It’s so nice when we take time to sit down and think about the present and how we can truly soak up our time with our loved ones. Reflection, prayer or just quiet time with yourself is such a beautiful thing this time of year and it’s absolutely what I needed this year.
I hope I never forget observing little eyes that twinkle while looking at the tree, answering questions about Mary and Joseph, hearing the pitter patter of feet wrapped in Christmas jammies and singing along to squeaky-voiced versions of Christmas carols I grew up listening to. While I wish these times could last forever, I’m so glad our hearts and minds can hold on to them.