With the holiday season in full swing, I have heard from a lot of friends about how they feel like this time of year there isn't enough hours in the day to do everything. Baking, decorating, shopping, wrapping, work, attending parties, family functions, end of year wrap up, and of course, that Elf on a Shelf.
I have seen a lot of my friends staying up late to create these elaborate scenes for their Elf on a Shelf for their kids. I love the creativity and thought that they put into it and I enjoy seeing the pictures of the scenes they set up so they can bring some magic into their kids' lives. Recently I had one friend who mentioned to me how her kids wanted an Elf on the Shelf but she didn't want to start that tradition for fear of having to maintain the pressure of creating a new adventure for the Elf every night.
It got me thinking about the pressure that we put upon ourselves during the holiday season to make everything “perfect,” “memorable,” and “magical” for those around us. I have some friends who, exhausted after a long day of work, put the kids to bed and then create a new display for the Elf. I have others who have told me that they stress over finding the “perfect gift” for their significant other, and some friends that are apologizing for not sending out Christmas cards this year. I was flabbergasted and felt sad after hearing this from my friends. I figured if they are all feeling this way, many others are too. So I want to tell you all something and offer a little support:
Holidays don’t have to be perfect.
This holiday season isn’t about doing every Christmas activity possible, or spending a ton of money on finding the perfect gift, or creating a movie-worthy plot for your kids’ Elf on a Shelf. The holiday season is about spending time with loved ones and being present with them. It is okay if you don’t send out a Christmas card, that doesn’t mean you don’t care. It’s ok if you buy cookies at the store for the office party instead of making something, you still contributed. And it’s ok if you’re tired after work and can’t come up with another Elf idea, you kids will still think this is a magical time and still be excited for Christmas and what they will remember is the stuff you did together as a family, like decorating the tree and not what the Elf did on a Tuesday night.
The holiday season is so short. Don’t waste it or your time trying to live up to the idea of what you “should” do for the holiday season. Do what makes sense for you and most importantly do what makes you and your family happy. Pick out a few things that you really need and want to do and tackle those first. If you find you have time at the end of the day and want to do a little extra, go for it, but don’t stress yourself out over it. Once you let all the extra stuff go that you really don’t have time for but keep making time for, you will feel so much better and less stressed about the holidays.