Hello! Happy hump day. Getting close to Christmas we are, and hopefully getting just the things out of the holidays we most desire. My usual wants and desires, are of course spending some time with the people closest to me. A little special baking, (I said little). Shopping and wrapping within my means. Listening to a few Christmas tunes and watching a corny holiday movie or movies.. Speaking of the corny movies, we have been sucked into a few Hallmark movies this season, mainly for the humorous commentary my partner and I have during these fictitious presentations of “how Christmas should look”. My partner and I have made our own little funny game of does she look like porn star, or hallmark actress. Come on, in my personal opinion the acting is mediocre at best and the story line is usually so predictable. Perfect timing, perfect sob story, the fact that love and happiness and all things christmasy will prevail! The amount of Velveeta cheese they force on us is almost too much. Needless to say, my Christmas does not look like a Hallmark movie, and further more I don’t really want it to. However, I still think my way is just as magical!
Which brings me to today’s topic of social media, television and movies and other influences on how we think and feel our holidays should look. First thing I want to get out there is, I do not live in a little bubble, but for a few personal reasons, I gave up Facebook 5 years ago, Instagram almost 2 years ago, twitter about a year and half and just recently scaled down on my tumblr. I still have my Pinterest page, but have since made most of my boards secret, not that i’m super private.. obviously not if I am going to keep a blog. Without going into a huge explanation of my choice to detach from the social media scene, let me just say I needed to do it for me to live my best life. I get what the hype is and I understand that it brings a lot of people (millions of people) joy, but for me it did not serve value anymore. I do not miss it. Hope your children, and chores and life and events are going just as great, just the same.
I remember their was this need to see how everyone else was spending their time and their holidays, and it seemed like everyone was keeping score. If they bake 5 different things, I need to bake six. If they attend the light shows, and go ice skating, I need to go too, and also have that picture of drinking hot chocolate. There are so many avenues of constant keeping up with the Jones’s that I can see why people stress so much over the holidays. Every commercial plays up the big dinners, the expensive gifts, the lavish and lush parties, the emotional reunites, and a case of the “feels” they try to force on my heart strings.
So I ask myself, more like remind myself, this is how I do holidays, this is how we do Christmas, we don’t need to advertise our lives on all these outlets for people to judge us on. Vise versa, I do not want to bring unnecessary judgement on you on how you spend yours. If we truly are friends, I know I will already know how you are spending your time, because more than likely we will be together, or we are chatting on the phone when we make time to catch up. What works for them is hopefully heart felt. What works for us is true to what we value. There is no point in adding things to the holidays just for the sake of doing them. Willing to try new things is awesome, if you have good intentions and are genuinely excited about them. Just the same as letting go of old traditions that no longer bring you happiness is okay. You do you. The general rule of thumb I try to stick to is don’t overwhelm myself or others this time of year so I can fully be present in the things I want to be doing, and the people I want to be spending this time with.
I give myself permission to leave that elf on the shelf, at the department store. I give myself permission to watch cheesy Hallmark movies and make fun of them. I give myself permission to say no to those events I don’t really want to attend, and I don’t have to make excuses or explain to anyone why I can’t attend. It’s not a scrooge thing to do, to just say Thanks for the invite, but I will not be able to make it, but I hope your (fill in the blank ___) goes really great! I give myself permission to bake the cookie I want to bake, because food is expensive, and do I really need 12 recipes to stress about? NO! I give myself permission to forget to take photos of my family opening their Christmas gifts and playing games..because my phone is.. where is my phone, I don’t know because I am being present. I give myself permission to decorate with things that I truly want to see around me. I give myself permission to just slow down. Here is my honest moment, I give myself the permission to respectively disregard other people’s expectations including some of my own, and just find flow with what holidays look like for us.
I catch myself sometimes in a stressful holiday moment, and have to do the scan of self evaluation of why I am getting all worked up or my tinsel in a tangle. Sometimes I have to talk myself off of a ledge, and trudge through the snow that I have overwhelmingly created for myself. I sometimes catch myself questioning other people’s behavior, and worry about their happiness over my own. I sometimes start apologizing for things I find joy in, just because I want to keep peace, or explain my choices when I shouldn’t have to.
*Justification and approval are things people naturally long for. Especially when it comes to holidays and personal choices.*Just remember, you don’t need anyone’s approval when you approve of yourself. Daily reminder to self here! With a big Cheesy Hallmark Smile on my face, I know we are going to be just fine!