Today’s Inspiration: When Less is More at Christmas

I’m this mom…are you too?

I am the crazy, type A mommy who is convinced when Christmas rolls around the kids and I need to squeeze in as many holiday experiences as we can. Every weekend (and weeknights when I’m not schlepping kids to their other activities), I book and fill with holiday-related events and activities. We go to view Christmas lights at all the popular (and some non-popular) places in town. We go on the Train to Christmas Town, we visit the Botanical Gardens to view the holiday lights, we make a trip to see Santa, we bake cookies, we shop, we pick an Angel from an Angel Tree, we wrap gifts, we listen to Christmas music every minute we are in the car, we make ornaments, we watch as many Christmas movies and shows on TV that we can (and the rest get recorded so we don’t miss them)……the list goes on and on. My goal: we are going to visit EVERY Christmas event we can find in the area, and you, dear kiddos, are going to enjoy every single minute of it.

What happens? Based on last year and years past, I ended up being a grumpy, exhausted mother, and I was way too stressed trying to plan so much that I felt like there was no time to enjoy the Christmas season. Seriously—all those activities, and I didn’t feel like I enjoyed any of it. My kids were whiny. “Do we really have to go see one more Christmas thing?” groaned my oldest. “Haven’t we made enough cookies and candy already?” My attempt to make it the Best Christmas Ever ended up being the most Stressed Christmas Ever.

This year, I took a different approach. As guilty as I felt for paring down, I asked the girls what things were most important to do this Christmas. They named a few of their favorites and which activities they felt were most important, and I decided we’d focus on those events. Only those events. Three days until Christmas, and this year has been the most relaxing holiday season in a long, long time.  Instead of running around like lunatics trying to fit everything in, we’ve stayed at home more and the kids have had more time to just chill out, play at home, and enjoy some much-needed free time. Instead of dragging three kids through stores crowded with holiday shoppers and waiting forever in checkout lines, I’ve completed almost all of my Christmas shopping online.  We’ve had more time as a family this past month to spend playing board games, eat dinner together, and reconnect with each other.

What did I learn by slowing down this Christmas?

The holidays aren’t about what you do, they are about who you spend them with. I got to spend time cuddling my girls, I got to read and play with them, and there was less whining because I wasn’t constantly yelling at everyone to get their shoes on and get in the car so we could run to something else.

It has been The Best Christmas Ever.

Who knew that doing less would actually make the holidays mean so much more?