One thing that I really dislike about myself is how I feel at the end of Christmas. Some years are worse than others; and some years the feels are more intense than others, but all years have one thing in common: the letdown or regret that comes at the end of Christmas. Is it really over? How can it be over? Did I buy my kids enough? Did I buy my kids too much? Did we serve enough? Did I participate in enough activities? I wish I would have wrapped my presents with more patience. The list fluctuates from year to year, but the list of what-ifs and should is always there for me.
If you’ve kept up with my life through this blog then you know how much I love this season. It’s logical to be a bit down that the magic is over, but I wish I could control the sadness that creeps in with it. I have to assume that I’m not alone in this feeling. The stuff has to be put away, the decorations need to come down, the gifts are unwrapped, there are no more parties or events to attend. Life is about to return to its regular schedule.
When I confront myself and my feelings I realize that there is no reason to be sad. The brevity of the season means that it will always maintain the magic. As a teacher I still have nearly two weeks off to relish with my children. New Years is a joy for a list-lover like myself. Who I want to be is someone who cherishes the full extent of the days we celebrate, and then who packs it up neatly ready to return to life. The season will return again, this I know.
If you struggle with end-of-Christmas-glum then this list of mantras is for you (and me.)
- The kids loved this Christmas! This is undoubtably true. They love exactly how we celebrated, not knowing what they didn’t do. They are not checking out other people’s Christmases on Instagram; we are. Our Christmas was a joy. They loved the gifts they received, the games that we played, the cookies that we baked. We did enough, and they received enough. We had a truly beautiful day. Shia asked if she could wear her new Belle dress everyday forever, while napping on her new Minnie Mouse pillow everyday forever, while keeping her Calico Critters with her forever. Jordan belted out song after song on the karaoke machine, and was thrilled that I let her film a fictional Youtube video of the unwrapping of her LOL dolls. Jaxon luxuriated in a triple bath-bomb bath at 1:00 pm just because he could, and then got out and raced and raced his $15 RC car. They have smiled a trillion times and given me a million kisses.
- The house will be beautifully minimal for awhile. When I first take down Christmas the house feels absolutely bald. What did I have for a centerpiece? Did these shelves just sit around displaying dust? This year I am embracing the minimal. When I reset the tone of my home it will be after thoughtful consideration. Just because something was displayed in November does not mean that it has to be displayed in January. This is a chance for a mini makeover.
- New Years is a time for new goals, dreams and habits. I am a big reflector. I love setting up goals, patterns, habits and dreams for myself. I especially love to do this at the beginning of the year and the beginning of fall. In 2017 I tackled writing, small business ownership and committing to a morning routine. In 2018 I’m all about health and relationships. This is a perfect time to refocus, redesign and plan out these goals and dreams. I have been listening to some awesome podcasts on goal-planning and positive affirmations. I can’t wait to sit down and write out all of my dreams, goals and plans.
- There are lots of cools things that we are going to do in 2019. Every family has some cool plans to look forward to. A road trip to visit a parent out of state. The goal of taking a cruise. The 40th birthday celebration of a treasured friend. Valentine’s Day. Easter. The 4th of July at the beach. Christmas is not the only cool time of the year. On Monday my son has the very first team basketball practice of his life. 15 years from now when he is a first round NBA draft pick I am going to remember next Monday, and how proud he was in his new KD’s and Steph Curry jersey. Life is full of joyous occasions, big and small, and not contained to only the month of December.
- Christmas will be here sooner than I know it. If there is one thing we know to be true, it is that time is whipping away at rapid speed. I was just 8 years old, cruising down the street in my new BMX bike. I was just 18, acting like a fool at Northern Arizona University. I was just 29, holding my first born baby in my arms, freaking out that I was the one in control. In just a few shorts months I will be saying It was just Christmas, and Shia was 3 and Jaxon was 5 and Jordan was 10, and Jordan still had a small interest in LOL dolls, and daddy rented a Bird scooter and Shia licked off the top of the chocolate cake and we ate enchiladas, rice and beans instead of turkey and stuffing, and Jaxon squealed with delight over his bath bombs and tic-tacs and Jordan sang Let it Go four times in a row trying to lure Shia into the room and we played Yahtzee a bunch of times and watched The Christmas Chronicles like Netflix was going to remove it from it’s queue. We were happy then and we are happy now. We are so excited that it’s Christmas again.
Ultimately I know that life is magic all of time, if you look for the magic in the everyday. Life is enjoyable all of the time if you appreciate the little things too. Instead of feeling sad, or letdown or anxious; I am going to relish in the joy of the memories we made, and look forward to the life we have, even when the Christmas trees are put away. If you are similar to me, I hope I’ve helped to calm your heart. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.