Three Things I’m NOT Doing This Christmas

Three Things I’m NOT Doing This Christmas

As my inbox fills us each week, especially the weeks leading up to Christmas I always get a little discouraged. I’ve seen at least a dozen lists of things I could do this Christmas. They are lists like, “A Bucket List for You and Your Children” or “The Must-Do’s for This Christmas.” 

There are lists of movies to watch, snacks to make, crafts to build, and a myriad of other things to add to an already busy schedule. With our children in school we now have at least four separate class activities, fundraisers, and programs to attend all in the month of December. Before we dive in and do it all, let’s acknowledge something: You do not have to do it all. 

The fear of missing out is a real thing, I get it. The nagging feelings of shame that we aren’t making our children’s Christmas’ magical sneaks into our hearts and we want to do it all. We want to make all the cookies, donate to all of the things, and volunteer to help with every program. So I decided there are three things I’m not doing this Christmas. 

As my children get older and I realize I only have limited time left with them in my house I often let that panic feeling make me feel guilty about not doing all of the things. So I try to cram in all of the activities and fun so that they will remember a fun childhood. 

When I think back to my time as a child in my parent’s house, my memories aren’t focused on the things at all. In fact, the things I remember with fondness about Christmas Time were these three things: 

  1. We read Luke 2 every Christmas morning before opening our presents. 
  2. We would also do something for someone else. It varied each year, but one year my mom might bake cookies for the shut-ins at church or we would go caroling at the nursing home. One year we volunteered at the soup kitchen of the local men’s shelter. 
  3. We would drive around and look at Christmas lights.  

I’m sure my siblings would have a different list, but the point is I don’t remember feeling like I “missed out” on anything because we didn’t do crafts. We probably did, but I don’t remember it. For years we did a lot of baking. Then we had years where we didn’t. My children will have their own memories. And it is ok if year by year it changes. 

There will be traditions we will keep each year, but those traditions will fit nicely into your schedule. This is your permission to not do some things this Christmas. Here is my list of things I’m not doing. Your list might look different, and that’s ok. What fits with my family won’t fit with yours. What I encourage you to do this season is to remember: you don’t have to do it all. 

Three Things I’m NOT Doing This Christmas

  1. I’m not buying a new ornament for the tree. I used to buy them a new ornament every year, but with finances tight we’ve decided not to do that this year. You know what, that’s ok! We could probably decorate two trees with the amount of ornaments we have. We are saying no to new ornaments this year. 
  2. I’m not doing a ton of baking all throughout the month. I would usually do baking every week and have at least ten different desserts or cookies I would have on hand. I’m trying to limit my own sugar intake this time of year, so instead we are going to do one day of baking and it will be for our teachers. I’ll bake a ton of stuff, with their help, and we will give them all away!  
  3. I’m not doing Christmas crafts. I love looking at all of the handmade stuff, but I’m not a crafty mom. I like to do crafts, but it just stresses me out and feels forced to do it. So we are not doing any crafts. 

Your list might look different and longer, but whatever you chose not to do this Christmas season, remember: Your children’s Christmas is more about spending time together than doing and getting all of the things! 

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