I’ve been really struggling with Christmas this year – I’m running dangerously low on holiday spirit. I’ve gone outside and sang Christmas songs loudly for all to hear – but that didn’t work nearly as well for me as it did in the movie “Elf”….I’m waiting to hear that there’s been a noise complaint. We didn’t put up our tree as early this year as usually due to some renovations that we had going on (the new floors are bad ass, so it was worth it), which likely hasn’t helped with my ho ho ho this year, either. Come to think of it, I’ve struggled with Christmas spirit since I moved to Texas – the lack of snow and cold weather makes it a bit tricky for me, which is something I never thought I would be bothered by! It gets hard to feel festive when you’re wearing flip-flops, I guess….
It’s more than just the weather, though – I think I’m feeling worn down by all the expectations that come with the holiday season. We are expected to hand write Christmas cards, expected to have gifts and treats for every person we meet, expected to attend every function, expected to wear an entire month’s worth of holiday sweaters and bake homemade cookies for all of the parties (and for Santa)…all of it. It’s exhausting. As each year goes by, I find myself doing less and less – and then I feel guilty, as if I’m a shit friend because I don’t hand write cards to people, and a shit parent because I don’t bake ten types of cookies to give the kid choices when she snacks. I need to do better with some of these things, but I just can’t seem to keep up with it all…and most of the time, to be honest, I don’t want to.
Just because I don’t send handwritten cards, doesn’t mean I don’t love my friends. They know I love them (I hope)! And just because I buy cupcakes and cookies for the parties at the kid’s school doesn’t mean I don’t love her – it just means that I’m busy AF and don’t have time to spend four hours getting baking done (and, let’s be real here: my baking will NEVER taste as good as store bought. EVER.). I think it should be okay to take shortcuts and make your life easier whenever possible – there’s no need to go over the top and throw a Martha Stewart Christmas UNLESS YOU WANT TO. We really need to cut down on doing things because we think we should – ‘should’ can be such a shitty word, and I think we ought to look at removing it from our vocabulary. Seriously. It rarely makes anyone feel good.
Clearly I am not alone with these ‘holiday blues’ I seem to be having – the New York Times published an article entitled “Yes, It’s OK to be Sad During the Holidays” in November, and it’s like they peeked into my soul to get this one written: “Feeling like a sad sack of coal during the holidays is far from unusual. Between the crowds, dwindling bank accounts and tundralike weather (not to mention the short window of sunlight), it’s a wonder any of us can keep it together.” I feel seen, for realz. The article goes on to offer some great tips on managing the holidays – I hope you will check it out.
Do you ever feel blah at the holidays or are you all Buddy the Elf all the time? If so, tell me your secret! 😉