It's okay to give yourself grace this holiday season.
I normally like to start my blog posts with some anecdotal tidbit from my life, some funny or relatable store, but not this time. This lesson is too important so I want you to see my words right not and really internalize them, as this might be the most important bit of info you get this holiday season. So, here's the lesson:
Give yourself the grace you need to be whole this holiday season.
For the last two years, my mom has been in the hospital during the holidays. In 2019, she was in right before Thanksgiving and the new year. Last year, she spent Thanksgiving and part of December in the hospital battling COVID. And while she's doing good now (especially for someone battling stage 4 metastatic breast cancer),I found myself getting anxious, wondering if this would be year 3. So I started putting pressure on myself for everything to be perfect this season. I would perfectly keep my home in order, all while perfectly working a 9-5 job, perfectly taking care of my 17 year old son, and perfectly caring for my perfect mom (well, she's pretty darn close). Can you hear the sarcasm in those words?
Part of the pressure came from wanting my mom to have a normal holiday. The other part came from my need to get my mind off of things. But that's not realistic. Not only is it not healthy for me to avoid my feelings, my own health issues (Sjogren's Syndrome, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Ankylosing Spondylitis) won't let me abuse my body or my spirit for too long.
If this is you, if you're the one trying to be some superhuman version of yourself this holiday, I want you to stop it. Yes, I want you to have a great holiday season, but I feel like a holiday can be great regardless of whether all the lights get up, whether or not the tree gets perfectly decorated, or whether your home is cleaned every day. Holidays are for creating memories with the people you love. Would you rather remember the time you spent making memories, or the time you spent stressing over the mundane things?
Give yourself grace this season. Grace to just be you and not all of the things. Grace to rest. Grace to have fun. And grace to do what you need to do to experience joy this season. Amazing grace, how sweet the sound!