As the twinkle lights start to go up. As recipe planning heats up. As we begin the juggling and scheduling for family trips, dinners, gifts.
And BEFORE you’re overwhelmed and over it all – stop and read this.
For the days we just don’t think we have it in us to pick up one more load of groceries, read one more story, play one more game of Monopoly, wash one more round of sheets. For the days when we think everyone else has it altogether.
For the days we’re sure anyone else would do this job better. Host this family more calmly. Have a house more presentable.
For those days. For those holidays. You know the ones.
Repeat after me:
- I shall not wait for my house or my life to be perfect before inviting someone in.
- I shall remember that big hospitality has nothing to do with the size of my house.
- I shall not judge my house, my Holidays or my gift wrapping skills by Pinterest’s standards.
- I shall tell myself that no one ever did actually die of embarrassment from a small or messy space. And that missing out on community is a much worse kind of dying.
- I shall not compare myself to others’ traditions, decor or gifts, but find my identity in the God who came to *be* the gift to me.
- I shall play music loudly and teach my kids the joy of wildly off key carols.
- I shall accept that a messy house at peace is better than an immaculate house tied up in knots.
- I shall remember that guests will only feel as comfortable in my home as I feel in my own skin.
- I shall embrace the fact that in becoming a mom I traded perfect for a house full of real.
- I shall remember that there’s no shame in paper plates if they’re heaped high with delight in each others’ company.
- I shall give my friends the gift of comparison-free friendship.
- I shall pause between preparations to savor the celebrations.
- I shall remember that hospitality is about opening the door, not about how fancy the furniture, decor or dishes.
- I shall treat my family with the same grace I offer my guests.
- I shall treat myself with the same grace I offer everyone else.
- I shall leave the dishes and lean into the conversations.
- I shall not focus on fear of appearances but on fully opening my arms to my friends and family.
- I shall not be intimidated by how the holidays, the turkey, the tree or the memories “should” be celebrated but love the people I’m celebrating with instead.
- I shall welcome my kids into the decorations, preparations, and celebrations.
- I shall remember that I want you here. Whether I’m perfectly ready or not. Just the way you are. Which will likely mean most days, I must open the door just the way I am too.
~ with love from one tired, happy, determined-not-to-be-overwhelmed-by-the-holidays mother to another.