Wednesday, December 18, 2013


It's the holidays, a time of year I mostly love. What I don't like about this time of the year is the frenzy, and the bustling, and the anxiety that it causes in so many people. At some point along the way, we get all tied up in expectations of the perfect experience, and instead of creating this Norman Rockwellian holiday, we end up with panic attacks, meltdowns in the mall, and overextending our credit limits. And really, is it all worth it?

I say no. I am not going to say that I haven't, and sometimes still don't, fall into the trap. I mean, after all, who doesn't want to forge an amazing holiday for themselves and their family? I would love to, but I also have realized over the years that we very rarely remember the material parts of the holiday, what was under the tree. As I've talked about before, I'm really big on traditions, and in this year of transition, I find myself yearning more than ever for time with the people in my life that I treasure most. So what I am really looking forward to this holiday season is spending lots of time with my boys and enjoying our traditions together, and maybe crafting some new ones.

With some of the losses we have had in our family over the past few years, we have scaled back our celebrations significantly, and I don't feel like we have lost out on the meaningfulness of the holiday. Instead of drowning in so many gifts that we lose track of who gave who what, we focus on spending time together. We do a white elephant exchange, which makes the most sense for us, since for the most part, if any of us wants something throughout the year, we can usually just buy it for ourselves. Not putting extra pressure on ourselves to find the "perfect" gift for everyone is our gift to each other. It works.

So my message to you, as we go into the next few days before Christmas, is to simplify. Stop and think about what you are doing and why. Are you under some artificial obligation to overextend yourself or do you you truly want to do all the things on your list? What could you do differently that will still express your love and caring for those around you without making you a hot mess, or without creating resentment and bad feelings? What should you focus on that will truly represent the sentiment of the season?

We definitely take time to do family activities together during the holidays, now more than ever. 
Frunner Festivus! I GOT A PROBLEM WITH YOU PEOPLE! (not really, I love you all!)
Running plus Christmas?  Oh, yes, please! 
Hopefully the start of a new tradition: scarf exchange with FIGJAM girls!
As long as I get my stair photo, the rest is cake. 

No comments: