It was the first Christmas I was in charge of in my own home and it went exactly the way I had planned:
Perfectly coordinated presents? Check.
Homemade goodies that everyone loved? Check.
Classic Christmas songs playing on our record player? Check.
Playing with my kids, cuddling with my husband by the tree, or taking that much needed nap- you know- all the important stuff? Fail.
I sat by my twinkle lights late that Christmas night and wondered where I had gone wrong. Why had I done all the things that were expected of me but totally bailed on the moments I cherished most? Sure, it was great to have all my wrapping paper themed and matching my Christmas tree, but my kids didn’t even notice as they tore through it in seconds. All the hours spent in the kitchen resulted in delicious treats, but those hours invested were gobbled up in a fraction of the time. And that husband of mine? We hadn’t even spent quality time together. We were too busy picking up mounds of styrofoam casings and finding batteries for all the treasures littered on our living room floor.
My Christmas looked the way it should, so why didn’t it feel the way it should?
I had stood alone down the hallway while my kids giggled and laughed in celebration in their rooms and realized I had missed it, the most important parts of Christmas.
I made a promise then and there: To craft a Christmas catered to my OWN family. Not what my parents expect from me. Not what Pinterest tells me. Not even what my own perfectionist qualities bring out in me. No- I would do right by the Willis family, and everything else would have to come in second.
What would a Christmas “just for us” look like? I had never thought about it! Then the thoughts poured in…
My kids are still young and do not appreciate a five-course Christmas dinner. They couldn’t care less if we ate prime rib or hotdogs to celebrate baby Jesus. What do they care about? My attention. My
So I traded cooking for coloring books and baking for building Legos.
And because my kids are still young, they wake up earlier than should be legally allowed. A nap is a requirement for each family member to still be jolly by evening. So I traded my zombie exhaustion for some afternoon zzz’s.
We cut back on presents because my kids were overwhelmed by the number they typically received.
We chose to not leave the house for any other event until early evening so we wouldn’t have to rush out the door.
I even considered purchasing our breakfast from a store Christmas Eve so I wouldn’t have to “get to work” the minute everyone was hungry. A STORE BOUGHT BREAKFAST? WHO HAD I BECOME?! I’ll tell you who:
I had finally become the mom and wife my family needed me to be on Christmas. I want that for you, too. My heart is that this holiday season will look different for you than it has in the past, kids or no kids, single or married. That’s why I am offering a FREE five-day video series, sharing all my tips and tricks to survive Christmas.
Sign-up HERE to receive a new teaching in your inbox each day for fives days.
Cheers to a Happy Holiday season!