Monday, December 13, 2010

Giving It Up For Holiday Sanity

Cross-posted and archived from DC Metro Moms.  Original post date December 11, 2007.

Each year I make a promise to myself and to my family that I won't over do it. I won't over book us in holiday get togethers, parties and more. There will be more peaceful moments at home and enjoying each others company and less harried messes, traffic and season excesses. Each year I fail. I fail miserably. Last year I failed so badly it resulted in a teary exodus by my parents and them claiming they never wanted to stay at our house again. If that is not failure right there I don't know what is. It's also a damn fine wake up call.

This year the invitations rolled in and faster than I could imagine we were booked from just before Halloween through to the new year. Before the holiday season was even fully upon us one look at our calendar had us all stressing out. I knew then that I needed to do something. So instead of going to the Corcoran Gallery this weekend with my friends to see that amazing Annie Leibovitz exhibit I bowed out. I gave it up. I gave up that afternoon of freedom with the girls to reduce the frenzy. I'm giving up Girls Night this week too. It's just one more event that adds to the crazy. I've said no to any and all new invitations that have come our way since Thanksgiving. It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. OK, missing out on the White House tour was a bit difficult to drop but we did it. I've grouped as much family time together as I can too, well as much as I can without food fights and plain ol' family feuds.

The holidays are a time when we naturally find ourselves reflecting on the past year. We remember the good times with friends and family and how much we have to be grateful for. When I started looking back on this past year I wasn't too thrilled with what I could recall. The fights with my mother over how to clean a pan properly had more to do with being overworked and overcrowded than anything else. The screaming match at 5 a.m. with my spouse regarding an overtired baby? Too many nights out with the kid in tow as we went from house to house and party to party. The late night talks with my Dad about how everything seemed to be falling apart in our lives was not how envisioned my last few days of 2006. I wanted to so much more than that and in trying to wring out every ounce of fun and holiday goodness all I accomplished was running myself and my family ragged.

To everyone's delight this year we have stuck to our guns. We have only attended one holiday party. Our times with family have truly been relaxing thus far and I'm not running around barking orders and crying in the bathroom as I sneak yet another glass of wine. I don't need to. In giving up much of what the holidays entail I've dropped the Grinch act that I sometimes put on and have come to realize that my heart has grown three sizes bigger by sitting back and letting the season just happen. I'm even excited about visiting Santa rather than just checking it off the list. No longer orchestrating every move and carting us off to a string of events has been the best thing I could have done! Sure it's a little less exciting but I'm also not quietly seething while I bake three dozen sugar cookies that no one wants to eat anyway.

I feel like I'm on to something here and that I'm no longer participating in what seemed to be an endless waltz that I desperately wanted to bow out of. So how about it? Who is game? What can you give up this year to make the season actually brighter? Because quite frankly I wasn't even having fun complaining about the holidays anymore either.


Posted by Victoria Mason on December 11, 2007 at 05:00 AM in Victoria

Technorati Tags: anxiety, christmas, family, friends, holidays, stress, the mummy chronicles


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Giving It Up for Holiday Sanity:


Jessica @ A Bushel and a Peck said...

I agree--I made a rule that we had to keep one weekend day open for all of December. No more double- and triple-booking for parties and get togethers. And this holiday season has been SO much more fun and relaxing. I will NEVER again be the crazy lady with 25 parties to attend in November and December, stressed out and stressing out my family in the process. Relaxed holidays are my new favorite thing.

Reply December 11, 2007 at 06:28 AM Tamara said...

I think you are doing a great thing. I know people who feel an obligation to say yes to every invite and they are always so frazzled (and their kids are always so cranky!) It is all over the place now about not overscheduling our children, but who are their best teachers? We are! So good job teaching your kids what is really most important.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for commenting! It's always good to hear from a reader and not say, a robot.