Tis the season for it is better to give than to receive. But what are we giving this holiday season? To each other, to ourselves, and most importantly, to our children? Raise your hand if the spirit of all that is magical sometimes gets lost in the stress and overwhelming busyness of the holidays. The roads, the lines, the shortened time, and tempers. {{ Hand raised here. }}

You see, I am completely in love with all things related to this time of year. The peppermint mochas… the crisp cooler (sometimes) weather… the adorable scarfs and sweaters that were collecting dust in my closet all this time eagerly anticipating the two weeks out of the year they can come out and play dress up… the sparkling lights everywhere, the music that sounds happy and peaceful… the Lifetime Holiday movies that always end happy… the abundance of parties… watching the magic unfold through the eyes of my daughter…  Absolute bliss. 

However, this time of year also makes me incredibly sad. So many people get stressed out about the plentiful gifts they think they need to buy and all the activities they feel they have to do. This year, I refuse to let the hustle ruin my spirit. Don’t feel like stressing out your toddler and forcing them to sit on a scary man’s lap? Don’t. Didn’t have time to send a holiday card this year? I didn’t even attempt one.  Don’t have the perfect gift for someone? Who cares. They will still love you. I guess what I am saying is this season let go of feeling like you have to do certain things that you do not want to do.

Of course we all know Christmas, or any holiday, “shouldn’t” be about the gifts. But who can’t help but eagerly await their sweet child’s face as they awake Christmas morning to find Santa’s surprises. That is great. I am with you. Shhhh. My daughter is getting her first playset! My son… well he’s two months old and still keeps me up all night so he’s getting a lump of coal. Kidding. Kidding. Well sorta, no my son will not be getting any Christmas gifts from us because he has no idea what this day even means, so why would I stress about having something perfectly picked out for him anyways?! I promise you all he wants for Christmas anyways is to live on my boob and eat all day — DONE. 

You see, the other day was one of those days I started to lose that spirit. I woke up so excited for my countdown to Christmas. I had a few holiday errands to run, but figured I could squeeze them in after my son’s two month appointment while my daughter was at Mother’s Day Out. After my son’s appointment I ran through a drive through “real quick” to grab my first meal of the day. Hint: I was already HANGRY!  As I pulled away I realized immediately I (they) forgot my Diet Coke. This pretty much felt like the equivalent of losing liquid gold to me in that moment. Frustrated, I swing around to the back of the line, and wait through the line again for my forgotten beverage. I happily took a swig, and to my utter dismay (Gasp) it was not Diet Coke.  Grrr….  Third times the charm? No not this time (Double Gasp!!).  Somehow, once again my drink was wrong. (You would really think I would learn by now).

At this point I am getting angry (HANGRY), all I could think about was that now I wasn’t going to have time to run my holiday errands. “Dang it I wanted to spread holiday cheer today, and now I don’t have time to! Ugh” I silently screamed. I tried to call the restaurant, but no one picked up. “I refuse to wait in this line again,” I thought to myself. I didn’t want to go in because my baby was asleep in the car. I felt my blood pressure rising by the time I reached the person to order from (Again). I felt the words about to seep from my lips, “Seriously how does someone mess up a drink order three times now?”  And then I paused, and laughed to myself, and instead just said “Thank you!” It is just a freaking Diet Coke girl.  Whoa, lets snap the world back into perspective for one hot minute. Why the sudden surge of uncharacteristic nonchalance and acceptance? (Yeah I wish I was the person that always knew how to let the little things go, but this is actually something I have to work on every day.) Because it is the holidays.  And we put all this pressure on ourselves to volunteer, to get the right gift, to give to charities. This is wonderful!!! Yay for us! But are we forgetting the most important gift of all? The gift of patience.

When we let the holidays shorten our tempers with each other and our families we are negating all those wonderful acts of kindness we are working towards. So we know it is better to give than to receive. But this season, also remember, in the season of giving — give your patience and compassion. I promise you will never feel the holiday spirit shine brighter.

So let it go, just let it go, and make room for patience. 





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