Surviving the Holidays

5:10:00 AM

It seems like once we get through Thanksgiving, it is just a mad dash to Christmas and we start forgetting about all of the other important things in life as we get lost in the hustle and bustle and glitter of the holidays. Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love Christmas, but I hear more often than not from clients and friends that they are just merely trying to survive the holidays.

This got me thinking, is this what I do? Am I just riding out the holidays OR am I really trying to take in every moment and soak it all up for what it is worth? In all honesty, I think I am realizing in this moment that I perhaps have simply been in survival mode so far this season.

For a moment of full transparency I have to be completely honest and share that what stresses me out the most this time of year is the portrayal of "having it all together". Do you know what I mean? The misconception that my tree needs to be picture perfect, that my kids need to have these fancy clothes and coordinate for our Christmas card, that I have to have perfectly baked and decorated Christmas cookies for all of my holiday gatherings, and that all of my gifts should be wrapped, sitting pretty under the tree. It's pretty easy to get caught up in everything that is seemingly important about this time of year when I think about all of the external pressure that is telling me I am basically failing at being a human.

I am sitting here writing this post at two in the morning because I simply cannot sleep. Most likely because of the exponential amount of items on my to-do list that have yet to be checked off. I am WAY behind on my Christmas shopping and have not baked a single item or honestly even thought about baking until this moment.

Looking through Instagram and Pinterest is great for inspiration, but sometimes it really can take a toll on how I feel about my own abilities as a mother and wife. I fall into this trap of comparing myself to all of these extraordinary women around me and start to doubt my own self worth. I start to feel bogged down with how "pretty" the world seems in little squares on my phone. But let's be real for a second, life isn't always pretty. Sometimes it is just down right ugly! But it is through the sludge of life that I feel we are shaped into who we are. We are made stronger and brought closer to our maker through the trials that we face and the not so beautiful moments of life.

I don't know about you, but I really don't want to spend the entire month of December wishing it would just be over. I want to drink up every second of magic that is in store for me and my family. I want to take every opportunity to remind myself and my children what Christmas is all about. And for me, it isn't the stuff; it isn't the decorations or gifts, or baked goods (even though all of those things are good). For me, Christmas is about family, love, laughter and most importantly Jesus. The amazing story of God, in the flesh, coming to the world to save us from ourselves and release us from the grasp of the world. He is my reason for the season and I am resting in that.

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