Friday, December 21, 2018

STRESS-FREE CHRISTMAS.

Hope I'm not speaking too soon, but I made my goal this holiday season to try and actually enjoooy it - and I THINK I'm doing a pretty good job so far. After last year, and my breakdown (post here) I can see very clearly now WHY I had a breakdown...

- First Christmas in our new house, as what felt like "adults."
*nothing will stress you out more than trying too hard to be an adult.
- Hosted 6 out of town guests...
- I was a new Mom, holding myself to a stupid high standard.
- Just finished a rather long cleanse, which sent me on a spiral.
- And to cap it off, I switched my postpartum meds and expected no change in my mood apparently?

LOL to that one.

So this year, I was determined to do things differently. Which has sort of just become my life motto in general. Like - if I'm not happy, I need to be. (Straight to the point.) (Which I will do now, too.) So a few things we / I decided to do differently this year...

Liiike, Christmas alone.

I know. I know, I know, I know. What is wrong with us? I remember the first year I was in Omaha with John, I was so homesick at Christmas. But looking back, I was also still such a child, so of course I was. But now I've learned that I actually really, really like to be alone. *Let's lol, again.

So, just us this year. And that itself took a million could-be stressers out of my life. We have zero plans, giving me zero expectations. Just the way I like it. And then as far as everything else that comes with holiday territory -  I tried to simplify it all.


Cards.

I FREAKED out last year while attempting to make Christmas cards, and wasted an ENTIRE DAY before I broke down and cried, and started all over the next day. Probably because it was my first year being a Mom and I was trying to find my confidence still, deeeeep in the comparison game wondering how I was doing and if I could pull off looking like I KNEW what I was doing via Christmas cards? I don't know. Why do we complicate these things so much? Again, I don't know. But this year, I took MAYBE an hour - got on the Costco website because THEY ARE THE CHEAPEST IN CASE YOU DIDN'T KNOW (YOU JUST HAVE TO LOWER YOUR STANDARDS BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT SHUTTERFLY AND DO NOT HAVE A GAZILLION OPTIONS), and I just picked a few of the pictures from when Emily went to see Santa. BOOM, done. I didn't even get upset when I got them in the mail and questioned if I really should have clicked the "enhance" photo option because the coloring sort of...sucked.

BUT I DIDN'T. I LET IT GO.

Then I sat up in bed for a few nights and addressed them while happily watching The Great British Baking Show. And when Emily needed an activity, I had her sit and put stickers on the envelopes. (Me last year would have been like LEAVE ME ALONE CHILD, THIS ACTIVITY DOESN'T INVOLVE YOU, EVEN THOUGH IT DOES AND PROBABLY SHOULD.) AND I only ordered 50 - so I apologize if someone didn't get one, but I honestly didn't overthink it. I had like 4 or 5 left, and instead of looking at them feeling like I half finished a project, I put them in the closet. #bye


Gifts.

Another thing I stress and stress and stress over. Since we have always had to mail gifts, it makes things more complicated. And since we've had a child (and a mortgage, etc) we've had to budget said gifts even more so than before and shipping someone a box itself IS basically a gift, lol. And it's not even that we have to do gifts for everyone - we have the laidest back set of family members / siblings. But, I like to. And it's something I think Emily (+ her sister) will take over once they're big enough to decide what they'd like to send / make.

I say "MAKE" because I am going homemade, for now. (Or trying.) I'm not the best at crafts so if you want to see the real deal - here's the link where I got the idea from. I could have totally stressed, because they are completely imperfect and took me for-ev-er, but I can say with all honesty that I enjoyed the process. I did! *And might I add, super cheap to make. Even though I wanted to question the $3.50 charge to mail a small manilla envelope?..I didn't.

AND - while I'm at it, let me quickly address the tree. (Pictured.) We have like, five ormanements because I must have thrown them away/ donated them last we moved. So I took fifteen could-be frustrating minutes of my life, wrapped a sparkly ribbon all around the tree and called it good. WA-BAM.


Emily.

Probably THE stresser of stressers as a Mom on Christmas. Her kids.

Which - what the heck? That's silly. First of all, she's one. And has no idea that that box up there isn't actually a launch pad to jump on and off the couch, or that a bearded man is supposed to bring you everything you circled in the Target catalog. (Do kids still circle things in catalogs?) So, just kept it SUPER SIMPLE again. The grandparents sent the big gifts (GOD BLESS) and spent MAYBE $150 on other things for her. We got her a few additional things for her new kitchen, a baby doll with a stroller - in hopes that she will learn what a baby is...and like it - and then an art easil and some new art supplies for this area of our kitchen I now refer to as her "art studio." *Kidding, but she did recently get a small table where she likes to sit and do stickers and things and she enjoys it, so I'm just expanding on that area. (Our house is way too big for us still, so lots of areas I'm trying to "expand" upon. And it's why we can fit what's essentially a bouncy castle in here..)


And seriously, that's it.

Because I kept everything as simple as I could, I really feel like I've enjoyed December more than ever. I've been able to enjoy treats like never before because I'm not just emotionally eating them, like I was last year. (Middle of the night, cookie dough. So much cookie dough last year.) I've had the mental capacity and the energy to work on other things in my life. Like, we've been more social than ever this month, and I haven't died. (And I don't hate it!) I've been nicer to my family. Like, a lot nicer. And I should add - I've stayed off the internet A LOT more than I have in the past few years, and that's incredibly helpful too. I know I keep preaching this, but internet comparison on holidays can ruin it all. Just don't.

And THIS is in no ways meant to hold a comparision. Maybe you enjoy going all out. YOU DO YOU. I just know, I'm the kind of person who can ruin everything by overthinking / overdoing, and looking around too much thinking there's a way things are "supposed" to be. And I'm learning how to get away from that.

So now I guess it's onto other things to stress about. Like, how I just edited this font 12 times and still hate it. Or how Emily's getting a freaking full size bed next week and I have no idea how to properly transition her. (As if there were such a thing.)

More to come though, more to come.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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