I have a Christmas confession. I recently saw the movie, A Bad Moms Christmas. When we left the theater, one of my friends asked, “Do you feel sinful?” Without hesitation, I answered, “YES!” This movie is vulgar. The producers earned the “R” rating – no doubt about that. Despite the middle-school humor, I must admit, I laughed quite a bit.
I even related to a couple of the “bad mom” characters.
I used to love the holiday season. Over time, this time of year – from Thanksgiving to New Years – has changed from a time of wonder and magic to six weeks of stress. I thought I was the only one who felt this way until I saw A Bad Moms Christmas. (A little holiday humor!) This stress I’m feeling – Guess what? It’s all self-imposed. (Another breaking revelation!)
Trying to purchase the perfect gifts for everyone in my ginormous family is mentally and physically tiring (even for an Ironman). Cramming the extra holiday activities and social obligations into an already jam-packed schedule is exhausting. Attempting to make the perfect Christmas meal for a group of people with widely different palates is draining.
Looking back on my now 23 years as a parent, I can remember few Christmas Eves when I was not up past midnight, making sure Santa didn’t forget his stop at the Walker house – all while doing a last-minute shuffle to make sure each child had the same number of gifts.
Why do I do this? Why do we all do this? We love our friends and families. ‘Tis the season of giving! And gifting is my love language! (You may just want to friend me now.) I want my loved ones to be happy! I will work night and day, stress myself out, and spend a stupid amount of money – all in the name of creating a season of magic and wonder for my friends and family.
In the Bad Moms movie, the main characters declared that they were going to bring Christmas back. And I could not agree more. However, my “Let’s bring Christmas back” battle cry is a little different than theirs. It stems more from changing the focus from the materialistic influences of the world back to the true meaning of Christmas. (Sounds a lot like Linus from a Charlie Brown Christmas, I know.)
As I recall how stressful this season can get for me, I have to ask myself…What am I teaching my kids? My self-created flurry of stress has now become a tradition. A tradition that will likely be passed down to future generations. So, while I can say I am truly happy during this frenzy of self-created holiday stress because it bestows the same sense of wonder and magic upon my kids that I felt as a child, I also know I need to consciously remember to take some time to enjoy Christmastime myself.
In the book (If You Give a Mom a Marathon), I write about prioritizing. During this and every holiday season, I must remind myself that as much as I want to create happiness, I need to take care of myself at the same time. My family could benefit from a well-rested, properly fueled mom more than from anything I could buy them. I think the “bad mom” characters could use this reminder, as well.
It may take more energy and planning, but I truly believe the rewards of changing my own focus will be manifested in generations to come. During this wonderful, magical season, remember … put on your oxygen mask first. Take some time out for yourself. Your family and friends will benefit!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Walker family!
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This post was written by Michelle Walker