Wednesday, December 22, 2010

letting go (and pics from yesterday)

So, it has been interesting to me this year to step back and evaluate where all my desires are coming from, what my expectations are and why, and what things are really "musts" in my mind as far as Christmas to-dos and which things can be let go. And then, as the weeks have flown by even faster than I thought possible, I have eliminated even more from my "shoulds" and "coulds."

There is so much good. So many great things to do, memories to create for my children, bonding family time, things to see and cherish and wonder. And this time of year, we want to serve and show love to others, especially those closest to us. We want to do so much. I want to do so much.

But I can't.

I know "simplifying" is very catchy and popular these days. But it's hard for me sometimes to let go of things that I really do want. Things I want for me and my family, for my kids. Experiences I want them to have, things I want them to feel in all of this doing.

But I have had to remind myself lately that this year just might not be the most stellar year in our family history of Christmas fun. And that's ok. It will be ok. It might even be better than ok.
I am trying to silence the voices in my head that remind me of all the things we've done in the past that we're not doing this year. I can't even delineate all the reasons why. It just is. And I am trying to let go of some of the expectations I have had.

Here are just a few:
1. we are not driving to Salt Lake to look at the lights at Temple Square
2. we are not going to Gardner's Village to see the cute elves
3. we're not sending Christmas cards (although I bought them and fully intended to) - or a family newsletter - or pictures
4. we're not doing a Christmas scripture and song program at home
5. we may or may not make cookies and/or deliver them to friends
6. we didn't hang up lights outside our house
7. I didn't even rearrange the decorations where I would normally put them (they sit wherever whoever took them out put them)
8. we didn't order my German food for our new traditional Christmas dinner
What are you letting go of this year??
Edit: In the time since I wrote this post last night, I've come down with the sickness that Nathan has had for the last 5 days or so. chills, aches, headache, congestion etc. Zac also started feeling sick last night. So, it appears I need to readjust my expectations even further. Still on my "must" list was cleaning the house (because it drives me crazy having holidays in a mess), going grocery shopping, getting Nathan's haircut, and last minute wrapping and stockings.
I'm not even sure now what will actually get done . . .
can we maybe just skip Christmas this year?


The Mel B said...

Well, as someone who is pretty much skipping Christmas this year, I can definitely relate to the feelings of missing out on some of my favorite things of the entire year. We didn't even put up the Christmas tree this year (just a little table top tree). I only baked two kinds of cookies (I might do one more because I skipped Chris's favorites). No family gift exchange. We're not even really doing presents, just filling stockings for each other. But it's ok. It doesn't make it a bad Christmas, it just makes it different. And all of that stuff, as much as I love it, doesn't really matter all that much in the long run.

Try to enjoy your holidays, even if you're feeling sick.

Anonymous said...

yep.. i can relate, even tho i'm generally not all that gung-ho about all the christmas hoopla. i've sort of been struggling with the letting go thing relating to holidays for years.. stemming, in part, from my refusal to participate ;)

i have the same internal longing for lights, and songs, and presents, and holiday cheer.. instilled in me as a kid. and i think maybe i'm a lame mom for not doing all this stuff for my kid. but.. BUT..

if he doesn't have all these expectations, then he won't have that longing and sadness and feeling bummed that inevitably follows when holiday expectations aren't met. it's our expectations and wishes and attachment to how things "should be" that end up depressing us. without expectation and attachment, it leaves room for whatever else will happen, for the experience as it is..

don't worry about it. you've done the fun stuff before, chances are you'll do it again. one year of not-doing-much isn't really a big deal. enjoy the lack of pressure and panic and slowwwness of not doing anything =)


Jennifer Pelo Rawlings said...

I hope you are feeling better now.

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