Prepped and Ready

Have you finished all of your shopping? Are you all ready for Christmas? Those are two questions you don’t ask a young mother who barely has time to get out of her pajamas in the morning, let alone buy and wrap all her presents by December 19.

It’s hard to think of everything, everyone and get it all together before Christmas. Especially when your kids keep morphing their Christmas lists and asking for new things from Santa.

Yet this year is different for me. I learned to say no – to myself.

Most years I’m modge-podging my way through Christmas Eve trying to get everything made and packaged by morning. This year I’m done. It’s about a week until Christmas and I’m done.

Not because I have done EVERYTHING I thought of doing this season, but because I have done the most IMPORTANT things I have thought of. And I’ve let go of the other things.

For example:

I thought about crocheting little Santa slippers for my mom and sisters. But when I opened the pattern file on my computer, I discovered that I couldn’t even make sense of the instructions and decided to wait until next year. Not. Worth. My. Time.

I thought about making my boys plaid Christmas suit jackets. Then I walked into H&M and saw Christmas green collared shirts for $4 each. Paired with some red suspenders from my sister’s wedding and they have instant Christmas church outfits. Good. Enough. For. Me.

I normally like to make a small Christmas craft for all of our neighbors. This year they got a bag of marshmallow snowman pooh and hot chocolate. My husband is so proud.

I usually stew over what to bring to holiday potluck parties. This year it was Sam’s Club pumpkin pies and sherbet Jell-o salad. Easy. Peasy.

My mind is always racing. Always thinking of what I can make or do next. But this year I’m not giving in. I’m not going to do all of the things I think I SHOULD do.

I’ve decided to sit back and enjoy this holiday season. My oldest is 7. Soon the magic will be gone for him and what will I have to show for it if I don’t put my projects away and believe right along with him? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

I have a really hard time sitting still. But that’s what I’ve vowed to do this Christmas. I bought 90 percent of our presents online several weeks ago. I finished wrapping them on Monday.

I know a lot of people out there are still shopping and prepping for the holidays. I know how you feel. I’ve been there – pretty much every year. Hang in there. You’ll make it.

But might I suggest simplifying things next year? Maybe your mother-in-law would really enjoy want a gift card. Maybe your kids won’t even play with the silly stuffed animal you stay up late to sew. Maybe your husband doesn’t care if you cook him an apple pie on Christmas Eve.

For me this year the most important gift I have given myself (and by default those around me) has been time.

I’ve watched more shows on Netflix than I care to admit (I have a we-don’t-watch-television-at-our-house reputation to uphold.) I’ve read Christmas stories and thrown snowballs at my boys. I’ve built a couple of snowmen and sledded down the hill in our back yard.

I’ve been to see Santa, several times and we’ve sung Christmas carols around the piano. Instead of worrying and stressing myself through the month of December, I’ve actually laughed and played with my kids.

Those are things that I didn’t have the time or the energy to do in years past. But I’ve decided they are things that I have got to do before all the years are passed.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Michelle
    Dec 19, 2013 @ 07:33:40

    I think this is wonderful. Some of my fondest memories are the simple things. We don’t need the top item for Christmas….. Although I still need to get my parents a present. Merry Christmas Nat! I love reading your blog.


    • Natalie
      Dec 19, 2013 @ 10:55:47

      Merry Christmas to you Michelle! Good luck on finding a present for your folks. My parents are usually the hardest ones for me to buy for 🙂


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