Fellow Chief Domestic Joy Spreaders: Christmas is Still on December 25th. You Have Time.

Under normal circumstances there's a lot of pressure on moms to turn it the eff on during the holiday experience to make it oh-so-magical for our kids. And I  admittedly have totally bought into this expectations every year since my son was little, planning fun outings, decorating, doing crafts, and purchasing meaningful gifts. We have traditions, okay?

But, then came 2020 and all it has entailed. My son is an only child (he's six, prime Christmas-is-magical age) and we have abided by all the social distancing requirements. I basically wear all the hats in my house- I work 10ish hours a day, I am responsible for Sawyer's schooling, I am chief puppy-wrangler (cue Sheryl Crow's "Favorite Mistake"), I deal with all domestic matters, and I try to entertain the idea of some sort of life that involves my own need and interests.* And now, now, I'm supposed to make life magical when most days I feel like my head is barely above water? Really?

And my situation isn't unique to me- this is moms everywhere. We are barely hanging on by a thread and this whole Christmas Thing is now dropped in our lap? Like, out of nowhere? All of a sudden? Like, what, it happens every year or something? And, let's be super effing honest: 9 out of 10 dads aren't feeling it like we are. Sure, maybe they lift some boxes and plug some stuff in outisde, but at the end of the day they're not carefully arranging decorative snowmen on bookshelves and curling ribbon packages (and if they are, awesome, this doesn't apply).

Everywhere I turn, there's Christmas. I means for shit's sake, Christmas threw up all over Target a few days before Halloween even happened! There's the marketing emails from every company under the sun, neighbors who have decorated their houses, people putting up their trees, and family members asking for gift ideas for my son. And if you aren't in the mood you're a Scrooge and you're trying to rip away people's happiness after a horrid year. Bahumbug. 

I am oscillating between giving in to the pressure and resisting. I have gotten done most of my shopping (more because of how afraid I am of covid-related shipping delays as the rates of infection are skyrocketing) and have stockpiled all of my baking supplies (I am hearing rumbling of another flour shortage). I've planned some socially-distanced activities for my son (a virtual Santa run, a drive-through light show, and a Zoom with Santa) and I've bought a few new decorations. But I refuse, REFUSE, to decorate until Thanksgiving is over. There will be no Christmas crafts, Christmas music, or Christmas cooking until next weekend at the earliest. I have to give myself the time and the grace to start climbing the next mountain that 2020 is putting in front of us.

And that's the point of this post- a gentle reminder that you don't have to rush. If you want to, that's totally okay and fine, but if you want to wait that's great too! Guess what? Christmas is still December 25. It wasn't moved up, it wasn't rescheduled, and it wasn't extended. Nope. Still the end of NEXT month, as always. So, for those of us who are Chief Domestic Joy Spreaders, it's okay to wait.

And guess what? It's okay to feel a little resentful about having yet something else to do. Right now it's completely how I feel, but I also know that I'll probably experience a shift in attitude in a week or two. I'm not advising anyone to tell their four-year-olds Santa isn't real or tell your eight-year-olds to wrap their own damn presents, but I don't think anyone needs to feel guilty if they don't feel as festive this year. Our memories of 2020 are not going to focus around Christmas, let's be honest. 

All I know is that I am so damn glad I never committed to that goddamn Elf on a Shelf. I cannot imagine dealing with that every night- mad props to those moms who do. 

*I know, I'm a broken record and have stated this fact about 489845 in the past eight months, but when you feel it so acutely 24:7 it's hard not to. 

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