Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Christmas Frenzy

I've been baking up a storm this last few weeks.  I've been looking up new recipes online and debating the merits of this one over that one.  I've made
Chocolate Chip,
Pumpkin Dark chocolate,
Double Chocolate Mint,
White Chocolate Cranberry,
The infamous Pink Things (2 batches)
Muffins, Cranberry and blueberry
and today was a new mint cream.
I've made candy cane hearts

I've done a lot of craft projects with Maddy and her crowd of her birthday and just for the fun of it.  I've been sewing up a storm, making pants and dresses and costumes and skirts.

The best part of all of this?  I'm actually enjoying the holiday season.  I *Should* be addressing Christmas Cards and mailing them out.  I should be scrubbing my house and wrapping presents.

But I'm not.

I was sick with bronchitis and I can't run.  That's one less thing on my plate.

I've been struggling with breathing, so I don't feel too bad about blowing off my cleaning duties for ones that involve less effort and more fun.

My Serger and one of my sewing machines are in the shop.  So no pressure to sew since I'm on my "backup" machine.  The costume stressed me out a bit until I found fabric (35 min away!) but once that step was done, I actually enjoyed figuring out how I was going to create the littlest Christmas tree.

Since I'm not swamped with work (I've turned away all but one last minute Christmas shoots) so I have time to volunteer at Maddy's class.  We made gingerbread houses today and I brought my camera just for the joy of it.  No work involved.  I'll go tomorrow and shoot the 1st Grade play as well.

I think I'm catching on to the secret.   I had the idea to bake in advance and freeze pre-made cookie dough balls for baking later on.  My shopping was done way in advance, although I still find myself buying more books for the kids! (Shel Silverstein Rocks!)  I've even shipped gifts unwrapped directly from the online website to my dad (He will wrap it for Dede for me)  I decorated, but I finished pretty quickly and didn't go as overboard as I sometimes do.

I'm no Martha Stewart or HGTV guru.  My laundry sits unfolded for at LEAST 24 hours most of the time.  I'm not scrubbing the floors every day so my house is perfect for unexpected visits.  My friends will love me clutter and all.

The secret?  LET IT GO.

Let it go.  It doesn't have to be perfect.  The girls had more fun over-handling the dough and smashing it into shapes than I would if I struggled to perfectly cut out and ice them.  I do want to learn that skill one
day! But I fail miserably and after 10 cookies, I decided to LET IT GO.

Let it go.  We don't have to go to every concert and every holiday activity.  We can enjoy our own home and decorations in our neighborhood just as much as a trip to the "big" lights.

Let it go.  I'm not going to stress out with people, clients or family that stress me out at Christmas.  I'm done with orders for Christmas day.  Everything else can wait till everyone is done with holidays.  I don't have to have a gift for everyone (although I would love to).  If I don't' know what to get you.  Maybe I'll get you a valentines surprise.  I'm no longer going to stress out about not having a gift for every one in my extended family or every teacher that works with my kids at school.  I found a great deal at Bath and Body Works.  If that or cookies won't work as a token of my appreciation, then I am letting it go.

I'm letting go of what I "have to do" and finding that the spontaneous holiday fun is actually happening more often!  So my clean kitchen is suddenly covered with flour?  It's okay to throw everything out of whack for an hour to have fun.  I'm not planning, but the fun things are still happening. So the cute crafts are less than perfect?  The hair bows were a last minute activity and fit perfectly into my life.....but planning to death would have sucked the joy out of it.

Let it go.  That's what I tell brides on their wedding day.  What's the worst that can happen?  As long as we remember that the important stuff isnt' all the extras, we can give ourselves permission to stress less. Christmas will be imperfect.  Someone will be sick.  Someone will make a mess.  But imperfection lets us focus on the wonderful daily activities and moments that are more important than the "perfection" could ever do.

There is no reward for outdoing Molly M. down the block and no prize for out-Martha-ing the Queen of Obsessing.  Besides, if you did manage to replicate EVERY cool thing on every blog out there, you would be too tired to enjoy Christmas morning.


  1. Let it go - easier said than done for me - but I have been able to cut down the super stress to a week or so - and then what doesn't get done - just won't & I don't have guilt over it anymore :) Homemade goodies & things seems to be a tradition that's not done as much so I've found many love that I still do it as a gift for them. I still have memories of neighbors every year for YEARS bringing over jam or "dilly" bread they made - mine has been making cinnamon rolls (unbaked so they can freeze or refrigerate & bake them as it fits into their holiday schedules). GREAT idea re making the dough & freezing it - have already written that on my calendar to start early for next year :) Amy

  2. Beautiful! I'd like to see all of this Christmas chaos. Pictures, please? It sounds like your home is beautiful right now, lit up with happiness. :)


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