I should know myself by now and yet, each year, the same thing happens: “I’m never “quite prepared.”
I should embrace the holidays are upon us and should prepare accordingly.
I should be preparing the house for my three 20-something adults and perhaps their invited guests.
Every year without fail, I prepare for family, friends, neighbors, should they stop by.
Weeks ago, my auto pilot modus operandi style of purchasing “extra” stuff kicks into high gear and it’s off to the races. In my head, I go through my mental list:
More decorative holiday towels.
More scented candles to make it festive.
The emphasis is on self-imposed “shouldas” and “more.”
My three children have grown up with lavish Holiday dinners—either from myself or my extended family members, and of course, my all the holiday decorations.
I’ll admit: I’m pretty enamored with the holidays and all things festive.
My siblings and I (I have four siblings) always made a big deal out of Christmas for two reasons: Honoring Jesus and honoring my mother, who’s also born on Christmas. So, there was more reason to celebrate and buy more.
And what parent doesn’t want or like to buy their children everything they wanted and everything they didn’t need?
Holidays gave me a reason to indulge my “shouldas” by preparing the turkeys; indulging in pulling all-nighters and making sure everything was just so.
After all the preparations—and probably driving everyone in insane by last minute requests and last minute preparations—is there any wonder why I was stressed out, tired and cranky afterwards?
While I loved the so-called arrangements, the redundancy of the family gatherings/holidays and my own expectations, had lost its luster.
“Let’s go shopping?”
“Let’s go to the movies, bowling or the mall.”
“Let’s eat out!”
“Let’s start preparing for the Christmas, let’s decorate the house.”
All family fun and lasting memories. Right!
This year, I simply opted out. This new revelation was recently voiced early November.
“This year, I would love to spend the holiday differently,” I said wistfully. “I would love going somewhere new.”
“Yeah? Where?” my son asked.
“Maybe visiting my friend Mary in Arizona. How awesome is that?” I gushed.
“Let’s make it happen,” my daughter said so seriously. “Really.”
And they did.
When I told Mary, that after 10 years of promising I would visit, I was finally coming. Excitedly, she started rattling off all these dishes she was going to make.
“No, please don’t. Simple is best,” I heard myself saying and then it hit me. Simplicity shoulda been on my list years ago.
“Girl, I love to cook!” she exclaimed.
“Ok,” I said. “But I’d really appreciate a side of rest; a double helping of memories and an extra helping of belly aching laughter!”
And believe you me, we had “our fill” of all three orders.
On my plane ride home, I reflected on my “shoulda” and made a vow to replace it “I’m gonna.”
“I gonna enjoy myself.”
“I gonna do it now.”
“I gonna do this again….soon.”