There's seven days to Christmas. Did that just give you some mini panic and stress? If you're a parent this is HIGHLY likely. I read a PSA a school teacher wrote to parents about kids and holiday memories that was a "YES, THIS!" moment for me and made me feel like maybe I won't fail horribly trying to create the best Hallmark Christmas experience ever.. Here's it is:
"Dear parents at Christmas, I know at this time of year there is pressure to create a perfect, magical Christmas," she wrote. "I know that you want to give them the magic of Santa and ensure he brings the best gifts and sometimes that means a bit of stress for you. But I'm writing to tell you a secret. I'm writing to tell you that every January when your child comes back to school they tell me all about the Christmas holidays."
"They tell me about the days when everyone stayed indoors and watched TV," she explained. "They tell me about walking in the freezing cold to get a McDonald's. They tell me about staying at Grandma's and being excited when you came back from work. They tell me about how you let them snuggle in your bed. They tell me about how you played cards and took them swimming one day and forgot their towel. They tell me about a visit to a friend's on New Year's Eve and how they stayed up [till] midnight. They told me about how they loved staying in their PJs some days and a trip out another day."
Although they talk about what they got from Santa in passing, what kids really remember is the time they spent together as a family.
"They mention their gifts, but for them Christmas is you and your love and time and routines and feeling safe," she said. "You are their favorite thing! Merry Christmas."
So come on, did you just have a little sigh of relief? As someone who preaches mindfulness and tries to instill the importance of being present and gratitude for the smallest of things, I still get caught up every year wanting to fulfill my kids' holiday expectations. So my "holiday intention" this year is to remember this letter when I have a not-good-enough panic moment. I am just going to have faith that my love and time with my family this year is enough. While I'm at it, I'm letting go of the fear that my kids are disappointed and I ruin their holiday memories for years to come! It's actually laughable that I can admit I have that fear in the first place.
Happy Holidays! I wish you presence, gratitude, and peace for the rest of 2019. See you on the flip side which will bring the launch of my MindPowered Kids online course!
(the teacher who wrote that amazing PSA can be found on instagram at @andgreenandblue)