Thanksgiving countdowns, new recipes, fun activities, and perfectly decorated houses.
As I scroll through my Instagram feed, I can feel my chest begin to tighten. The thoughts start playing in my head…
You really should do that.
That’s a great idea.
Why aren’t you doing that?
I wish I had time for that.
I try to muster up plans to execute some of these great ideas I see beautifully displayed before me. Maybe I can squeeze the prep in after bed time. Perhaps we can do the activities quickly after breakfast.
My heart beats faster – but it’s not from excitement. It’s from panic.
I’m in a season of life right now where I just don’t have time for a lot of extra activities. Honestly, I’m struggling to just get the essentials done. The thought of planning out and executing holiday activities, no matter how amazing they are, makes me feel a bit queasy.
Not exactly how you want to feel headed into a season of joy.
So, if the sight all all the holiday ideas, activities, and stuff is making you feel like crawling into a hole for the next two months. I want to share with you my favorite holiday mantra:
That’s a fun idea. Maybe next year.
Repeat after me: Maybe. Next. Year.
Why This Works
No one likes to feel like they are missing out. Whether it’s getting your house to look just the way you want or doing fun activities with your kids to guide them through the meaning of the season, we want to embrace all the excitement of the season.
However, reality says we only have so many hours in the day. Whether you have impending work deadlines, volunteer responsibilities, or spend your day keeping small children alive you are going to have to say no to some things. Maybe even a lot of things.
How do you do that without feeling majorly bummed out?
That’s a fun idea. Maybe next year.
The mantra works for two reasons:
- You recognize that it is a fun idea. You don’t roll your eyes or say “pphhht, who has time for that?” You don’t devalue the hard work someone else put into their idea. It’s cool and you admit it. Let others be themselves without feeling like you need to be them too.
- You hold onto the hope that – if you still want to – you have the option to do it in the future. You don’t need to throw yourself a pity party because you can’t do allthethings. Screenshot it, pin it, or file it away and revisit it next year. I ogled Truth in the Tinsel for a few years before we were able to do it. And this year it probably won’t make the cut again. However, next year we will revisit and hopefully do it again!
Next time you find yourself pining over a sweet idea, try the mantra and see how you feel.
Do This Instead of Doing It All
So, you can’t do it all. Then, what do you do?
First, check your focus. What truly matters the most during the holiday season?
I conducted a survey last year asking people what their favorite Christmas memory was. The results were staggering. Almost every single person’s memories revolved around relationships.
Focus your attention and effort on the relationships around you. Make sure you don’t forget about your relationship with the One whom the season revolves around either.
Then, once you’ve got your focus right, here’s what you can do:
Pick one thing.
Not one thing for now, one thing for tomorrow, and one thing for next week. Just one thing for now.
Just focus on that one thing.
Maybe you want to be intentional with discipling your kids during the holidays, maybe you really want to make your house feel cozy and festive, maybe you just really want to make time for a nap. Pick one thing and do it.
Once you’ve finished that one thing, revisit and pick another if you feel up to it.
Give it a Spin
I really hope you give this a try! It might not help with all your holiday stressors (navigating family get-togethers anyone?), but I think it will truly help relieve the pressure of holiday perfection we so often feel.
As I continue my Instagram scrolling, I repeat my mantra a few more times. I put my phone away and attend to the life in front me.
My chest loosens. I take a deep breath.
I think our holidays are going to be just perfect as they are.