It is a common feeling this time of year: even those who look forward to the holidays usually also have something about the season that they are dreading, a feeling of busyness and obligation that is hard to shake.
I love this time of year, I truly do, but there are some things that make me cringe.
This week I wanted to do something different and give myself a Monday Mission, a task to do to help simplify life for me and the kids, and you can join in if you’d like (I hope you will).
This week’s mission: let something go and simplify your holiday season.
I strive to keep the holidays fairly simple, but over the years there are still some things we do that I’ve come to realize are done out of obligation or because, well, that’s what we did in my family growing up.
Now, I don’t really think there’s anything wrong with tradition or even in doing some things out of a sense of obligation (because occasionally, that is the right thing to do).
But this year one of those traditions I’ve been thinking we might be better off letting go of is visiting Santa. Every year, during the week of Thanksgiving, we pack up the kids and head out to visit Santa Claus at our local mall. But this year, we’re staying home. I know, I know, but hear me out.
If you have happy experiences taking your kids to go see Santa, please continue to do so. I have fond memories myself of vising the drugstore Santa in my small town as a kid and I love the pictures taken over the years that my mom displays in her home of me and my siblings. They tell our family’s story and how we grew and changed from year to year.
But, my kids? Well, my oldest knows the secret about Santa, my son is pretty shy and likes Santa but absolutely does not want to talk to him, and two youngest are actually pretty terrified of him (I think it is the white beard and hair).
I don’t think we’ve actually had a successful Santa visit since my seven year old was a 5 month old. That’s a sign, don’t you think?
I’m fine with this and don’t believe in forcing my kids to see Santa or sit on his lap just for a picture, but you know, for some reason we still mark it on our holiday calendar and attempt every year, even though it almost always ends in disaster.
I think when I tell the kids this week that we aren’t going to go visit Santa this year, that we’ll write him letters instead, that they are going to be just fine with it. This is something I have finally decided I can take off of our list.
Is there something on your family’s holiday to do list that you can let go of? A tradition that doesn’t really work for you? A task that you or your kids don’t really look forward to but do simply because you’ve always done it that way?
Your mission this week is to let something go.
If you need to make other plans or let friends and family know you’re making a change this year, let them know this week so there aren’t any surprises.
Maybe there are some tasks that don’t bring you joy that you can delegate to someone else?
My aunt’s family doesn’t cook a big Christmas Eve feast, instead they go out for pizza and mom gets a night off. A few years ago I decided to keep our holiday decor simple and we downsized many of our decorations and haven’t turned back. The point is that I bet there is something you can take off of your plate, cross off of the calendar or to do list, and let go of to make the holidays a little bit simpler for you. So, do it!
Find one or two things you can exclude from your plans this year that will simplify the holiday season and make it more meaningful for you and your family.
Speaking of simple, Tsh from The Art of Simple is hosting her first-ever Facebook chat and I’m going to be there. This Tuesday, November 19 from 7-8 pm PST (so, 10 pm EST) we’ll talk about simplifying Christmas. RSVP right here— see you there!