It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year. (Except When It Isn’t.)

Can we all just take a collective deep breath? This time of year is full-on crazy, because all the trappings of regular life happen and then alllll the holiday things (the festive and the obligatory) are layered on top.

Plus, as a new parent, I’m attempting to get used to what the holidays are like with a kiddo. (And I’m very aware that this is the easiest we’ll have it as parents over Christmas for the foreseeable future, since Maggie’s favorite gift this year will most certainly be a random box!)

Yesterday, I hit the “I’m feeling completely and totally overwhelmed” stage, and it was NOT fun. As someone who’s used to juggling a lot at once, feeling like I’d hit a wall wasn’t a great feeling. My to-do list just seems to keep growing, no matter how in front of it I try to get. And I feel like I’m cutting corners (example: we didn’t get a tree, because it just felt like too much) which leaves me feeling kind of Grinch-like.

The most wonderful time of the year, huh? Are we sure about that?

(Truth: I started writing this post fully intending to make it a rant about how overwhelming this season is without much of a positive spin to it.)

But then (after some time at the Pure Barre studio last night, which helps me feel better without fail), I felt more centered about everything.

Is everything on my list going to get done? Eh, mostly (the main things).

Will everything in my house be beautiful in the process? That would be a big NOPE. (I have a few decorations up, which I love, but things have also been in a perpetual state of disarray — varying from light to medium in severity — for the past several weeks.) But you know what? That’s 100% okay.

Am I surrounded by people I love? Yes, daily. (And we’ll get to see even more family and friends so soon when we travel to Atlanta for Christmas!)

Is Maggie enjoying her first Christmas season? She seems to be! She’s loved seeing lights and other decorations, liked meeting Santa, and is already into unwrapping. I know she’s still so young, but I’m already starting to see Christmas through a child’s eyes once again, and it’s SUCH a great feeling.

Am I enjoying the season? If you’d asked me yesterday, when the mountain of things felt so very high, I might have said, “Mostly…”, but in reality, the answer is yes. I’m enjoying the season and trying — amidst all the to-dos — to soak it in. I’ve learned that I often have to be very intentional about being present, because it’s easy for me to get into head-down task mode and forget to savor the things around me. So this year, I’ve been playing Christmas music in my car non-stop. I’ve made a point to watch some Christmas movies. I’ve baked cookies (and in the process got so excited thinking about doing that with Maggie for future Christmases). And — most importantly — I’ve enjoyed my little family, and all the joy that’s wrapped in this special time for us.

The most wonderful time of the year? *Maybe it is after all…

christmas card

*But don’t misunderstand: There’s still an overwhelming element to it all! I’m trying my best to let that go and just enjoy this time. (“Letting go” doesn’t come easily to me, so it’s something I have to remind myself of again and again.) These special moments are going to fly by, and in the long run whether I had every last thing done and perfect won’t matter in the least.

5 thoughts on “It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year. (Except When It Isn’t.)

  1. We didn’t put ornaments on our tree this year! When it all gets too much, I just pick things to cut out, and I love having a tree, but no time really to decorate it will, so we just put it up with a topper and a garland and lights (that are already on the tree when it goes up). Sometimes it is picking the things you can handle and cutting out the stressful things that when you get down to it, you usually don’t need anyway!

  2. Anna! I felt this exact same way last year. Lyra was too young to really understand Christmas, so it just felt like all this extra stress on top of the stress of having a small child and working full-time. This year has been AMAZING! Lyra is super into Christmas and it’s the cutest thing ever. I have fully embraced the Christmas spirit. It will get better!

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