One of my mother’s choice phrases that I find escaping my lips all too often. What exactly does that mean? Usually, she reserved it for moments when we knew if we didn’t quit while we were ahead, we were gonna get it- publicly-appropriate code for “cut the shit.” But really, what does it mean?
Recently, I’ve found myself muttering these words as I’m out running errands at the grocery store, pharmacy, wherever. The availability of the amount of “requisite holiday stuff” that some imaginary being is supposed to sneak into your home on varying holidays is incredibly overwhelming. Overwhelming in the sense that a) you could spend an insane amount of money if you chose, b) the onslaught is strategically placed at every entrance/exit/common area so there’s no getting away from it, c) the pressure is such that when you choose not to purchase, you feel guilty, and d) the more you participate, the more you have to lie to your kids about it.
And I’m a sucky liar.
We’re all accustomed to being barraged by the stores several months before the holiday occurs. Christmas displays now go up the day after Halloween, it’s crazy. We all laugh about it, and life goes on, but what I didn’t realize was exactly how much pressure this creates until I was absent for awhile. Towards the end of my pregnancy, I began to do less and less of the shopping as it was so tiresome, and when I finally entered a store a week prior to Christmas, my anxiety went through the roof! I looked around at all the stuff, suddenly second-guessing all of our gift choices. The Elf on the Shelf had a whole new line of accessories, and the book totally contradicted what we were doing at home- I’ve been letting Claire actually play with the damn thing (gasp!). After my initial panic, I consulted with my husband who reassured me that what we’d done for the kids was entirely fine, and everything would remain magical. But it hasn’t let up! After Christmas was Valentine’s Day, then St. Patty’s, now the bunny- what’s next? It’s so hard to keep up, and Pinterest makes me feel even worse! And I genuinely love to craft!
I had to draw the line for my own sanity- enough is enough. I have learned to take a breath when that first guilty, insecure reaction arises, and think about my bottom line- the lower the expectations are, the greater the surprise will be, and like I said- I’m a sucky liar, and I can’t guarantee that I’ll be able to maintain the facade that these fictional characters require. Truth be told, I’m surprised that no one’s created a tooth fairy mascot- now there’s an open market!
Every family has their own unique way of making events special, and I guess what I’m trying to say is, don’t listen to the pressure! Do what makes you and your family happy, and don’t worry about whether or not you #nailedit. My favorite part of any holiday is that first hour- it’s still pretty dim, my vision is a little fuzzy, the coffee’s brewing… and the excitement within my child is intoxicating.
Yup, that’s my favorite part. Enough truly is enough. xo