On average during the Christmas season, about five times a day I read the suggestion to “simplify and enjoy the holidays” by “lowering my expectations” and “focusing on the meaning of the season.” This wisdom is usually followed with a detailed explanation of how to make my own popsicle stick manager scene and give myself grace if Mary’s head keeps falling off.
I’m told that I can be peacefully filled with the Christmas spirit if I “don’t try to do everything” and instead of making homemade appetizers to serve at a party, I just buy pizzas and use miniature cookie cutters to make adorable little pizza bites.
The truth is, if I ever have to make a manger scene out of popsicle sticks, I won’t care if Mary even has a head. I will just be thrilled if I remember to include Baby Jesus and don’t stab my eyes out with the wooden sticks before I finish. I love crafts.
And let’s be real, if I have enough time at my house before a hosting a party to cut pizza into the shape of tiny candy canes, I would choose to more responsibly use the spare moments to sample all the wine we will be serving. Also, nothing says stress reduction like throwing your entire December budget away in the form of excess unusable pizza scraps.
No, I think all this insight on properly embracing the holidays flies over my head. I’m more of the vein who Aims Low (like that little shout-out to this groovy site, editors?? ;) ). Come Christmas season, mediocrity isn’t even the name of the game. Oh no, when the wrapping paper and preschool concerts start to overwhelm, it’s all about just being proud of yourself for avoiding some epic fails.
I choose to suck the pressure out of my season and declare Christmas a win when:
Remembering that it is December, I don’t dress my child in his “Happy Easter!” shirt with the perky blue bunny on the front.
I may not actually be able to see it, as the mountain of laundry I’ve been avoiding is piled up in our living room, but we do have a Christmas tree and it is standing in a vertical position.
I can watch National Lampoons Christmas Vacation and still laugh so hard my ribs hurt when Todd says, “I don’t KNOW, Margot” because my sense of humor has not been entirely lost while trudging through the bliss of buying shampoo and razors in the midst of psychotic holiday shoppers at Target earlier that day.
I remembered to buy a Dunkin Donuts card for our mail lady. I REMEMBERED TO BUY A DUNKIN DONUTS CARD FOR OUR MAIL LADY.
My son tells me that Santa’s favorite movie is Mickey Mouse and he looks so sincerely cute when he says it. Thank goodness it’s not Calliou and thank goodness that someone here is still holding the magic of the season tight.
Win or lose, it’s still pretty miraculous.