I closed my eyes and pressed two fingers gently on my right eyelid, hoping that would stop the twitching.
It was early December and my brain would not stop listing all the things I needed to do, gifts I needed to buy, plans and decisions I needed make! Then there was laundry to wash, groceries to get, appointments to schedule, calls to return, and Aster’s birthday to plan for.
Why doesn’t everything else just do itself in December so I can handle all the extra stuff that comes with Christmas?
As I walked around my house in what felt like circles, trying to make progress, I felt my chest getting tight. I knew I had to make a decision. I didn’t want to resent December or dread Christmas and I was the only person who could stop it from happening.
So I sat down and made a list of my non-stop thoughts, ideas, desires, expectations (I assumed others had of me) and our family’s Christmas traditions. I looked at the list and took a deep breath; no wonder I was overwhelmed and eye-twitchy.
Then I told myself something that I desperately needed to hear: You don’t HAVE to do it all.
My self argued back (of course). How can I NOT do some of these things? I’ve always …
“You don’t HAVE to do what you’ve ALWAYS done. You could just do what matters most to you – and the ones you love.”
It sounded like something someone older and wiser would say; I knew it was straight from God’s heart to mine. And His grace-filled-perspective shifted something in me. I felt a sense of relief in my soul and calm in my chest.
I decided not to do it all. I put up less Christmas decorations, bought teachers gift cards instead of gifts, and did all my shopping online. I wrote down traditions that mattered most to me, and I sat down with J.J. and our kids to find out what mattered most to them.
This Christmas, we aren’t doing everything we’ve always done, and I’m enjoying December more than I ever have before. Also. I took J.J.’s advice and gave each person an activity to plan. So, I’m not the only one in charge of what we are doing either. It’s a glorious thing when your kids become young adults. (just hold on young mamas, your time is coming)
Sweet friend, you don’t have to do it all this Christmas. If you’re overwhelmed like I was, it’s not too late to give yourself grace and ask God to help you trim your list back to what matters most this Christmas. Talk to your family and ask for help. Set limits and plan more laid back stuff like movies and hot cocoa. If you need to, bow out of some commitments and come up with a revised list you can love (and live with). One that eases all the eye twitches and chest pains, Amen!
For more Christmas encouragement, be sure to
take a look at Renee’s soul-calming Christmas Prayer.