Written by Kris Bales of Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers
It’s official. The Christmas season is upon us and many of us are already feeling the stress of the holiday crunch.
It’s a shame that the time of year that should be focused on Christ, peace, and hope becomes such a busy stressful time – but that’s reality for many of us.
The truth is that Christmas is not a holly jolly time for everyone. For many, it is one of the most difficult times of the year.
There are some who are missing loved ones who have passed, who are away from home, or who are estranged.
There are those whose Christmas won’t look like a Norman Rockwell painting due to financial, emotional, or relational struggles.
There are moms who struggle with guilt over all the “shoulds” or frustration from trying to do it all, and are wondering when the spinning plates are going to start shattering around them.
There are many who are counting down the days, not until December 25, but until December 26, when all stress and unrealistic expectations can be put behind them for another year.
If any of those describe you, I just want you to know that this Christmas, it’s okay.
It’s okay to feed your kids grilled cheese and canned tomato soup or mac-and-cheese every day for a week because it’s easy and that’s all you have the time or energy for.
It’s okay to buy store-bought crispy treats or deli cookies for the co-op Christmas party. It’s okay to unwrap them and put them on a pretty platter and let people assume they’re homemade.
I mean, don’t lie if you’re asked. That’s not nice.
But you’re not responsible for people’s assumptions.
It’s okay to put every single gift you purchased in a gift bag because the thought of wrapping them makes you break out in hives.
It’s okay to tell your kids that if their gift can’t be ordered from Amazon and shipped with free 2-day Prime shipping, they need to choose something else. (True story.)
It okay to not serve at the soup kitchen when it’s all you can do to serve at home.
It’s okay to skip all the Christmas unit studies or watch an hours-long marathon of Christmas movies and call it a unit study.
It’s okay to not put on your fake smile and tell your friend that everything is fine when she asks. Tell her the truth. She’s probably happy to pray for you – and you may just find that her smile is fake, too.
It’s okay to be real with each other.
It’s okay not to make gingerbread houses and homemade ornaments.
It’s okay to spend an entire day snuggled with your kids in front of the fireplace reading Christmas stories – or your favorite books that have nothing to do with Christmas.
It’s okay not to make one single, solitary, homemade gift.
It’s okay to be sad.
It’s okay to put taking care of yourself and nurturing your family above all the “shoulds.”
Wherever you find yourself this holiday, it’s okay.
Do you find the Christmas season to be a difficult time of year? What do you need to give yourself permission to do or not do this month?