It seems like I just finished prepping Thanksgiving dinner, but since before Halloween, the stores have been singing carols and telling me that the holidays are already here. Even with three joyful young souls crowding around me and begging to decorate on Black Friday, I stuck to my guns and said, “No.” Thanksgiving deserves its own day, if you ask me. But now that it’s visible in the rearview mirror, I’m beginning to focus on the chaotic December holidays that lie ahead.
Every year, I wonder if the holidays really need to be this nuts. I vow not to add needless gatherings to our docket. I try to keep lists contained, stick to a budget, and accept that there is no perfect gift, but still, I end up spent and exhausted. Sound familiar? Let’s make a pact this year, a holiday manifesto if you will. Join me in grabbing the holiday good like never before. Repeat after me:
I will not beat myself up for shopping online. I won’t earn extra points for braving the stores this time of year.
I will not feel bad for purchasing foods that make recipes easier. It is okay to skip steps in the spirit of sanity.
If I’m lucky enough to finish my shopping list early, I will not continue shopping.
I will not recreate the burning bush with our Christmas tree. There are enough lights already.
I will focus on the traditions I love, not dream up more ways to complicate our schedules.
I will remember that “no” is NOT a four-letter word.
I will take a few complete days off work. I will not check email on those days. Not even for a second.
When my kids need to go home, we will go home. Nothing is worth an overtired, whining kid-disaster in public.
I will enjoy holiday food without guilt. There is plenty of time to eat healthy. (The holidays are not that time!)
I will practice acts of kindness with my kids this holiday season.
I will remember what this season means to me, why we celebrate it, and more than anything, cherish my time with loved ones. Everything else is fruitcake.
Molly Logan Anderson is a writer, wife and mom of three who lives in the Chicago suburbs. Intent on finding good in every day through her website www.GrabTheGood.com, she hopes to help others do the same. Visit her there to receive her humorous and heartwarming take on life via your Inbox. From good family to good advice to good causes and good humor, Molly is writing about it.