I look across the room at the dining room table where the Thanksgiving turkeys made out of handprints sit as a centerpiece mixed with the beautiful display of pumpkins and leaves. I put all that together back in October and I sigh in dismay…..now its time to take it down and deck the halls with Christmas decorations………oh how time consuming, but I do love the end result! Growing up my mom and Grandmom were so good at decorating they put all the items each year in the same place and it was magical, they made it look effortless. Why can’t I be more like that? I thought to myself….
This year I feel the stress! I want it all to be perfect. We will not be spending Thanksgiving with extended family and our children are old enough to really have the holiday spirit so I feel like I should leave Thanksgiving decorations up until after that Thursday and then pull out the Christmas decorations; you know one holiday at a time, but then I feel so rushed and then time seems to fly………
I also want to create holiday traditions that my children can always cherish and I want to start this year since they are old enough. I think the “Samaritan’s Purse” shoebox idea is a great cause: http://www.samaritanspurse.org The idea is to fill shoeboxes with toys, toiletries and other items for distribution to needy children in Third World countries.
In my mind I saw myself taking the boys to the store joyfully picking out gifts and toys for the boxes and explaining the true meaning of Christmas and giving thus creating a gift box tradition.
Here is how it really turned out:….. (In my head, I’m saying) “Can’t find shoe boxes, what?? Can’t find shoe boxes you have got to be kidding, I have enough shoes where are the boxes??? Oh my gosh its almost the day to drop the boxes off I’m running out of time maybe I can just go to the store and buy the stuff myself and then explain it to the boys”…. “Well that’s some tradition, way to go Dixie wonder what your next bright idea will be.”
Deep breath! “Give yourself some grace Dixie”
(Yes I talk to myself a lot and no I’m not crazy, I bet as a busy mom you do it too, so give yourself some grace as well!)
Alas Samaritan’s purse has a link where you can go on the site and build your own shoe box virtually. So the boys and I one afternoon talked about being thankful, giving and Christmas and built our boxes together online it was not like I had envisioned, but it was fun and meaningful. It was not perfect. I often complain about the over digitalized world we live in, but in this case I am thankful and it will probably become a tradition! I encourage you to go online and build a box you have until November 25th.
Throughout this time when I was stressing and talking to myself in my head I was also saying “I teach about life balance what am I doing?? arrggg this is NOT it”!
So again deep breath decision made, the tree will go up before Thanksgiving so we will begin to enjoy that aspect and after Thanksgiving the other decorations will come down and the nativity will become the centerpiece. If all the decorations do not go out this year no big deal, I will let it go. The Christmas tradition will not be Norman Rockwell perfect but it will be Andrade household perfect. The stress I have, I will let go of and remember to enjoy each moment.
The holidays are about being thankful, Jesus, family, and friends not about stress and I WILL enjoy EVEN when it is not perfect.
So no the holidays will not be canceled, the shoebox WILL be filled, albeit not with homemade gifts and the Christmas decorations will go up slowly, nothing will be perfect…except that it will be because it will be filled with the things that matter most love and joy and family.
How about you what do you need to cut out of the holiday rush to truly find joy, reflect and not be perfect but find your life balance?
When you think about it your uniqueness makes everything perfect!
There, balance restored : )
Here’s to all your Possibilities!
Stay tuned: In the coming weeks I will be featuring women entrepreneurs who are balancing their life through faith and they have great things for sale online, you will love the stories and you may find some stress free shopping too!
Southern sweetheart Entrepreneur Dixie McDaniel de Andrade is a speaker who delivers a powerful punch providing inspiration and how-to solutions to moms of faith. As an author, certified coach and life style expert, she founded international coaching company Envision Possibilities to teach other moms to stop settling, balance their unique lives, take action on their dreams all while honoring their own family values! Dixie is a world-class trainer; having begun her career in international development with the World Bank and spending over a decade working in training and development with multi-national non-profits and governments, speaking and training international audiences from over 100 countries. Connect with her on Facebook at Envision Possibilities or Twitter @CoachDixie and sign up for her newsletter on our home page.