These are the three things I’m doing differently this December to allow myself to spend more time enjoying the holiday season with my family and less time stressing over little things that don’t matter.
For me, the month of December is the true kickoff to the holiday season. I want to be the stereotypical blogger that starts holiday decorating and crafts in August, but for the seventh year in a row, it just hasn’t worked out for me. So here I am at the end of November with a list as long as a CVS receipt and absolutely zero checkmarks on it.
But tonight while I was drinking my lemon pound cake flavored tea with a humondo dollop of Cool Whip on top, I realized something. This is just not my year. Yep, I just typed that out, and I smiled as I did. Because that’s not a bad thing.
I want to decorate like I’m on HGTV’s White House Christmas. And I want to make crafts that would impress Martha Stewart on her radio show (that’s a story for another day).
But I have been renovating this house for a year. A whole year of project after project with no breaks in between. And I have been running the blog full time for a whole year, too. Remodeling a house and being your own boss is a lot. A crazy, beautiful, lot. I’m beyond grateful for the life I’m living right now, and my heart is so full.
And that’s why I decided this just isn’t my year for over-the-top holidays. While I drank my mug of Cool Whip with a little tea underneath, I made a list on my phone’s notes app of how I was going to “do December”. (Hey, it’s my notes app. I title things in weird ways because no one sees them. Well, until I post it publicly here on the blog…oops)
How I’m Doing December in 2021
I’m Only Hosting On Christmas Eve
If you’re new around here, let me tell you a not-so-secret about myself. I’m a hostess with the mostest. I get it from my grandmother. I love to host our family for dinner parties, open houses, craft parties, birthdays, and random “come over and eat cheese” parties.
But as much as I love to host a party, there’s a lot of prep work involved. A full day of cleaning, what feels like a full day at the grocery store, prepping food, trying to keep our
raccoons cats from stealing the food, trying to keep my teenager from snacking on all the food the night before, and then cleaning up after the party is over.
This year I’m only hosting one party, and it’s our annual holiday get-together on Christmas Eve. Our family doesn’t exactly celebrate Christmas, but December 24 is the day we always gather at my house for a meal and a game. Every year the theme is different, and it’s something I look forward to planning and putting together all year long.
My Son And I Are Making A Bucket List
This is the first year that I’m a full time blogger. I left my day job at the beginning of this year. That job was for a beverage company, and as you can imagine, our busiest season was holiday time. That meant long days of going in and out of crowded grocery stores, spending 50% of my work day in traffic, and hearing that Mariah Carey song con-stant-ly. (Seriously stores, please stop playing it. Just stop.)
I have never truly been “off” for the holidays. Until this year. I’m planning on writing all my blog posts ahead of time, finishing all 95% projects by the end of next year, and spending the entire Winter Solstice Week with my family screen-free. (Well, aside from the TV Screen, because Elf and Harry Potter movies are a must)
Noah and I have been making a bucket list of all the things we want to do during that week. Because he’s never had my full attention around the holidays either. We have some really special things we are going to do, like figure out how to make gluten/dairy/egg free cookies with icing on top. (Help… Me…)
These are all the things we have tried to get to in the past but my work always got in the way. I finally get to be Mom, and not just “lady with the phone to her ear sending truckloads of soda to a grocery store for the fifth time in one day.”
I’m Not Going To Do What I Don’t Want To Do
Around the holidays, I feel the constant pressure to say “yes.” Party invitations, events, home projects, blog projects, collaborations, donations, everything. But here’s the thing… sometimes I don’t have have the time, money, or brain-power to do them. In past years, I’d say yes because I felt obligated, then stress, scramble, a have a full-on freakout in my car at a red-light. (Sorry if you saw that, neighbors)
It may just be the Cool Whip high I’m on right now, but I have a sudden sense of empowerment that I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to do. Sounds crazy, right? But think about it. I could stress myself out over a last-minute invite to a charity event that somehow turned into me being in charge of the entire planning committee, or I could just say no.
Saying no around the holidays is hard, but this year (and every year going forward) my family deserves to have my full attention. They shouldn’t be taking a backseat for some lady I met in a Facebook group and her crafting workshop.
What Are You Doing Differently This December?
So there you have it, the things I’m doing differently this December. Maybe it’s the short hair making me all sassy, or maybe it’s the single strand of Marty’s fur that was floating in my tea giving me cat-like attitude, but I feel like I have the power to make this holiday season as stress-less as I want it to be.
Now I want to hear from you. What are YOU going to do differently this December? Are there things that hold you back from enjoying the holidays year after year? Are there things you always try to do but just never find the time? Habits you seem to fall into over and over again? Tell me in the comments below. (If you’re shy, you can totally lie about your name and call yourself Kellie… or Toadfrog. We’ll never know.)
L Dianne Jewell says
Geez, girl! I don’t know how old you are, but I was 60 years old before I figured out that I could say no & do what I REALLY wanted to do! What a gift, for yourself & your family! This is the first Christmas I’ve actually had the decorations finished, plans made, and presents wrapped BEFORE Christmas Eve! Ta Da!!! (I feel like such a grown up! LOL 😅)
We, well, me & dragging my hubs along, have been doing a year long transformation of decluttering (from 45 years of marriage & 37 of them in the same house!), purging, organizing, more purging, cleaning routines, plus the renovating & redecorating. Big year with lots of changes for the good! I’ve found your posts just invaluable through this huge process! (Especially your sense of humor! 😜) Thanks for sharing your expertise and enthusiasm! I hope with your new found freedom, you all have your best holiday this year. Take loads of pictures, because before you turn around twice your son will be… You know what? I’m not even going to say it. Just savor every moment and he will, too!
Brad Gandy says
Dianne, your comment was exactly what we needed here at Organized-ish HQ on a rainy Monday morning. As more holidays have seemingly whizzed by, everyone here has gradually realized that we we work hard every day, so why stress so much about the end of the year instead of celebrating what everyone around us (family, friends, and readers included) has accomplished? We’re all loving the new December already, and don’t worry, there will be plenty of pictures, jokes, and ’90s boy band/girl group references to go around!
For now, please know that people like you are exactly why we still can’t believe that we get to do this for a living. Happy Whatever to you and yours as well.
Cookies? I may have some recipes for
You to try. PM me …kids had horrible allergies growing up and I can probably pull a few together….(me, now back in cookies for Christmas mode after I cut that from the to-do list)