The holiday season for many is filled with angst, stress, a desire to have everything be "perfect".
What if we stopped trying to make the holidays perfect? After all, what is the definition of a "perfect" holiday?
What if we just accepted the fact that there is no such thing as the "perfect" family gathering and the point is to just enjoy each other's company just because we can.
What if we took time out to care for ourselves; practice a little bit of self compassion?
What if, as parents in midlife, we set the example and decided that this year the holiday season would not have the commercial trappings?
What if we accepted the fact that our college aged children coming home for the holiday break do sleep in until noon, raid the refrigerator, come and go at all hours of the afternoon and evening?
What if we explained to our college aged children that we will not stop our lives because they are home? What if we let them know if they need us we are available but we have our own lives that need to attended to?
What if we accept the fact that our role in our childrens' lives have changed and as much as we want to go back...we can't?
What if we celebrated this holiday season with no expectations other than we are surrounded by family we love and who love us?
What if we celebrated this holiday season with a ton of humor?
What if we took time out to say thank you to friends, co-workers for being in our lives and carried that practice beyond the holidays?
What if we created special memories without trying to create them but by letting them just occur naturally?
To be transparent, for me, this type of holiday celebrating took a long time to accomplish. There was a period in my life where I was hosting up to twenty people for the holiday season and found after awhile it became a burden...I let it go.
Years ago when I was divorced the holiday season became challenging but over time I found new ways to celebrate. The simple things are what make me happy.
So you ask, what are the ways I made it simple?
I let go of having to have the holiday season be perfect.
I came to understand that my son, while in college, was more interested in being with friends; the holiday break was his time to reconnect with friends he had not seen during fall term. We would spend some time together and then I let him do his thing without making him feel guilty.
For me, the holiday season is really about being with the people I love and care about. It is not about perfection, it is not about fancy gifts. It is about spending time with each other, laughing, telling stories, and just being with each other.
May your holiday season be one of simplicity!
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