It is with the best wishes for you that I sincerely wish you a most good enough holiday. Why are you driving yourself crazy?
I know people who pride themselves of how they make everything from scratch and spend three days cooking. Ok, that’s nice. Cooked from scratch food takes the same amount of time to eat as easier food. Do you really think that your family enjoys it that much more? They spend the same 20 minutes eating it as they do when you buy pizza, and then they watch football. When you eat, you enjoy being together. The holiday is about being together. Not the food. Make it easier on yourself, it doesn’t have to be so perfect.
The time together is what’s important. Just being there. We all want the same things, to be loved and respected. I don’t think anyone loves you more because you gave them home cooked food, although that’s nice of course. If you’re spending time with family preparing it, that’s special. But I don’t know anyone who wants to spend all that much time with me in my kitchen. I don’t want to spend that much time with me in my kitchen. Every year, I make it easier and easier on myself. Here is what I’ve noticed. I’m less stressed. I’m less tired. I enjoy myself more because I’m not collapsing, I enjoy and actually have time to spend with my family. I think this is better. They can go to a nice restaurant if they want better food.
Same for the gifts. If they really really want something, they probably should be able to figure out how to earn it for themselves. That’s a real gift, if I’ve taught my children that much. The value of working and earning for yourself and the pride it creates in a job well done. It’s never too early to give the kids chores to do and reward their efforts. If you’re spending all your time stressing out about shopping, go online. The $90 Amazon fee for prime earns itself in your free time you’ve given yourself. And if you’re one of those people who is so proud cause you saved three dollars and waited in line 15 hours, ok, as long as you enjoy that, it’s wonderful. I don’t enjoy standing that long. I don’t think the people who get the gift appreciate it more cause you made yourself sick trying to get the one item that was rare or that you wasted a whole day of your life accomplishing that. Get less gifts but the one they want. Spend less. People don’t value you because of what you spend. Children want to love their parents and parents want that love. The love you get because you bought them something lasts a minute. The love you get being a good person who is kind and spends your time with them is the love that lasts.
My mother is 87 and I’m 62. My mother still asks me now if I’m happy with my gifts after a holiday. I’m sorry I made her feel guilty for that. For so many years, in my young adult life, I pointed out to her that she spend twice as much on my sister at every holiday than she spent on me. It was true. So what? I feel much better now because I no longer care. So she does things all the time that drive me crazy. So what? She is who she is. I spent most of my life constantly getting angry at her, but she is what she is and has no idea of the impact she has. So now her son may never talk to her again, she thinks it’s his fault. She has to live with that, it’s sad but it’s no longer my problem. It won’t get fixed because she’s waiting for him to apologize for what she did. I won’t hold my breath. I’ve adjusted. I was a foster parent to two groups of children. I learned from them that children will love even the worst of parents. A parent has to do some really horrible things to lose a kids love. But as long as the parent conveys the love, much will be forgiven. Isn’t that true of all your relationships? Hasn’t everyone you love hurt or disappointed you at some time? But you still love them? Because we’re all flawed, we’re all imperfect.
So please cut yourself some slack. Love yourself a little more and breathe and accept imperfection a little more this holiday. The things you want to be perfect? It’s just you that wants them perfect. The people who love you don’t mind a little potato skin in their mashed potatoes.