In my younger years, I used to get so excited when the holiday music would start and the lights and Christmas decor would begin to line the streets and shops. The thought of a four day break from school would make me salivate and the idea of Christmas morning in cozy PJ’s would warm me for weeks.
Then I grew up and got married. The holidays now meant figuring out whom to spend which holiday with, without offending anyone:
-Let’s do Christmas Eve at my Mom’s house and Christmas morning with your family. -Are we doing Thanksgiving with family or friends this year? -Mom felt lonely on Thanksgiving last year – let’s do it with family -How much family should we invite? In-laws? In-laws’ in-laws? Both sides?
In the early years, it also meant I needed to prove to myself that I was capable of doing EVERYTHING. Making Thanksgiving dinner for 23 people (AND IT WILL BE THE BEST THANKSGIVING OF ALL TIME!!!), buying gifts for every family member, employee and select group of friends, mailing out dozens of hand written Holiday cards, baking treats. Well, all this did was put a bunch of pressure on me and feeling of dismay when I couldn’t live up the unreasonable expectations I set for myself. Unfortunately, this sucked the joy out of the holidays. The days off were stuffed to the gills and instead of relaxing and being thankful, I was stressed out about whether or not I was good enough. So sad, right? So I didn’t enjoy the holidays too much for several years.
Fast forward to this year. I’m excited again! While there will still be some obligatory get-togethers, I have this list of things I WANT to get for my nieces and nephews. I am looking forward to making a nice meal for my family. We are celebrating the first holiday season with my little one. And my sister-in-law has a brand new son that we’ll get to celebrate with. And my nieces are old enough to start getting excited about stuff. And my older two nephews are of prime “I LOVE TOYS!” age. And I’m finally at a point where I don’t care so much if I’m not able to get the perfect, impressive gift for the few hard to please people I have in my life. I really do think it’s the thought that counts. I feel that way when I receive a gift. So many fantastic things to be happy about! So KOST, go ahead and keep playing those Christmas carols 24/7 on the radio, and bring it on! We’re ready!