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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

This Christmas

Here's what I'm thinking... I'm thinking that maybe we are doing too much. And that it is driving us insane.
I think that we are trying so hard to be so damn good at everything and we are unraveling in the process. We are trying to be magical unicorns in yoga pants, trying to take pictures where no one is crying for the "perfect" holiday card, remembering to move the f-ing elves, trying to find the best deals on the x-box one, kicking ourselves for realizing we missed the best deal on the x-box one, channeling our inner Martha Stewart to bake 112 different kinds of cookies, being secret santas, going to school concerts and tree lightings, and shopping, more shopping, wrapping, traveling, driving hours to do dishes in someone else's kitchen, caring too much about pleasing everyone else, going to so many parties on so few Saturdays, buying all the wine, questioning your life's decisions while waiting at the post office, and you still aren't done the shopping love and by the time Christmas arrives you couldn't be more exhausted.
So with the exception of the wine, why don't we simplify it this year? And not even just say that we are, but to actually do it. It is time to let go of the things that we don't like about the season and make more room for the things that we do. Don't like baking? Don't do it. Those break apart cookies are sold for a reason sister. Put out some sprinkles and let the kids decorate like you spent hours in front of an oven. Don't want to go to a party? Don't go. Don't want to host? Don't. Hate the elf? Write a note that there was another family that really needed him and he will (creepily) still drop in on your kids so still keep up that angelic behavior- he's magic, they don't need to see him on a daily basis.
We are so caught up in the things that we are supposed to do that we forget about the things that we actually want to do.
This year I decided not to do Christmas cards. While the year has been really great in oh so many ways, a lot of it has been really hard too and if there is any year that I don't want to put out a message that says look how happy and shiny we are, this is the year.
Maybe this is the year that we all should try to be honest and not be so consumed in showing our perfection but in showing our flaws. Let's show our truths. Let's show our unraveling. Let's show our real, imperfect selves. Let's show one another that we are not alone.
I'll start. My husband and I are separated. He moved out a month ago. I've been with him for 16 years... that's a whole lot of Christmas cards where we either were happy and shiny or we put on an appearance that we were. Here's another truth, I want nothing more than for him to be happy. We have four kids, he will be in my life for all the years, so we might as well do this as gracefully and with the most respect for one another and for our children as we possibly can.
And we will be here at the house together on Christmas. I'm not baking. I'm probably going to forget to move the elf. I'm not going to say yes to anything that doesn't bring my children or myself joy. There will be eggnog in my coffee, truth in my voice and laughter from my children surrounding me.
Even when we don't have the perfect Instagram family photo, that does not change the fact that we are so damn lucky. It is all about doing the next hard, right thing. So this is the year that we don't make it harder than it has to be. Forget Pinterest for the next month. I'd rather have my sanity. We've got this. Team a little broken, team store bought, team simplify, you are my people.
Here's to a holiday season that is a redefined beautiful...
Cheers to us...

How we did the holidays in the '80s... apparently my Mom had to let some things go too,
mainly winter apparel and haircuts done by salons.