The Christmas season is officially upon us! I’m one of those people who loves Christmas—the lights, decorations, music, baking, gift giving, snow. Yet I’ve struggled to feel the holiday spirit this year. It is almost mid-December, and I still need to decorate and haven’t yet, because I’m waiting for the joy of the season to sprinkle me with its magical, warm feelings. I play Christmas music in my car, but haven’t belted out the tunes yet. My tree is in the stand, but not decorated. I haven’t begun my baking yet.
This time of year is also crazy-busy at my job. I teach preschool, and it is the season of crafting, crafting, and more crafting! And 3 year olds can’t do the intricate prep work like cutting out their handprints for antlers or stars for the top of the tree. These Pinterest crafts are super cute, but often ideal for a mom making them with her two or three kids—not doing them with 21 students (that’s 42 handprints to cut!). In December, my part time job feels more like a full time job. However, I am forever grateful to my support staff who help make these fun crafts possible!
I know it isn’t just me—for most of us, there is a busyness to this time of the year like no other. There is shopping, wrapping, decorating, baking, holiday work parties, fun activities with kids, community events, and the list goes on and on. Although there is the stereotypical running joke about how women are the ones going crazy trying to get everything done, and men really don’t participate in the preparation much. While it’s certainly true in my household, I wonder how accurate it is overall. Quite possibly it’s a personal choice as to how nuts we want to drive ourselves. At what point do we say no to something? What tradition do we pass on? How do we balance getting it all done while having the time to appreciate all we’ve put into it?
So I believe it is how overwhelmed I feel that’s blocking me from fully enjoying the present. I’m too focused on the to-do list to be in the moment, which is where we can find joy. Instead of letting go, I’m holding on to the stress of how much I need to get done.
My goal this weekend is to forget about what is looming ahead of me for next week, and all the other responsibilities. I will put out the decorations, and rejoice in spending the time with my kids. And once we’ve made our house look like Christmas, I will balance all the work we did by singing to the music, sipping some hot cocoa, and admiring the tree. If I don’t feel the Christmas spirit after that, I might have to buy a Grinch outfit.
Are you feeling the holiday spirit yet? What helps get you there? What’s your experience—do women do more than men at Christmas, or is it an outdated stereotype? Drop a comment and let me know!