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A stress free Christmas? Is there such a thing? Nah. But I’m going for the next best thing this year. This year for Christmas I’m giving myself something truly special: grace. Meaning I’m letting myself off the hook. I’m giving zero fucks. I’m sitting back and admiring the other moms out there who have their shit together without giving a fuck. For real, I’m not falling down the comparison hole, I’m saying no to guilt, and tuning out all the noise. Trust me, it’s hard! But man, does it feel good. There are 5 ways in particular that I’m doing differently this year, and I consider them all gifts of grace. From me to me.
I didn’t send out Christmas cards this year.
And you know what? No one died. I’m sure there are a few, or more, people who would have liked to get one from us, but I just didn’t have it in me. We just lost our dog, our house is undergoing even more unplanned renovation, my health isn’t playing nice, etc. etc. etc. All the excuses. So I didn’t do it this year. But here’s the thing, even if I could have found the time to get all those cards out, I didn’t want to. That, by itself, is enough reason to let it slide. Sometimes having other people seeing you as ‘all together’ isn’t worth the price of falling apart. I’m attempting a stress free Christmas this year, after all. So that was gift #1 from me to me.
I didn’t bake.
Aside from the cookies I had to have for ME, I didn’t bake. The cookies for my son’s Christmas concert? store-bought. Baking is not cathartic to me, I don’t yearn to do it. So this year… I just didn’t do it. Instead, I used that time doing other things, like writing or watching TV. The few precious moments I have at home between pick up and drop off is literally the only time I have any real say in what I do. I hoarded all the time I could this year. Gift #2 from me to me.
I didn’t volunteer
Ok, this one is only half true. I didn’t volunteer at both schools. I am very active at one, and I kept my commitments there. But the other school? I just didn’t raise my hand when they asked for volunteers. There will be other times and other activities that I find more appealing. My kid didn’t die. I have 2 whole weeks with him home for break, so it’s not like he won’t get sick of my face. Instead, I used this time to have coffee with my friend and discuss #allthethings. Gift #3 from me to me.
I didn’t binge on all things Christmas
For whatever reason, almost every year I watch Christmas movies, listen to all the Christmas music, and seek out all the Santas even though I like this holiday about as much as I like going to the dentist. It’s something I endure. Yet, I force feed myself ALLTHECHRISTMAS as if it’ll make it better somehow. It never works. It always makes me MORE annoyed. So much for a stress free Christmas. So this year I decided to give zero fucks. So instead of lifetime movies and Christmas carols, I’ve been watching Rick & Morty and listening to hard rock on Amazon music. Gift #4 from me to me.
I stopped trying to steer the sleigh
Yeah, yeah, A frickin’ Christmas pun. But what I mean is that I realized that I have very little control. Over anything. Kids getting sick, crap with this house from hell, losing our beloved dog to cancer, the weather, Christmas lights not working, etc. It’s just not worth me beating myself up over anymore. Any of it. All I can control is how I treat others and how I treat myself. Everything else just requires my best effort and the results will be what they be. And sometimes my best effort means just plain not doing it. Period. Because it makes me miserable and then I make others miserable and we’re all miserable pretending to be happy. No thanks, not this year. Gift #5 from me to me.
It isn’t impressive, but it’s almost a stress free Christmas
Our tree is decorated with the style of a 4-year-old. literally. Our outside decorations are there, but they aren’t glorious. Our Elf gets stuck for days at a time, and we haven’t gone to see Santa. But we also have a lot less stress this year. Apparently, when I give zero fucks… no one gives a fuck about my lack of fucks. Meaning, no one in my family has seemed to notice or care that I’m not trying to be Mother Christmas this year. As a matter of fact, literally nothing else has changed aside from my attitude. And while that’s pretty depressing that all my efforts are usually unnoticed, it’s also nice to sit my ass on the couch and do a whole lot of nothing.