I’m typing this on December 21st, 2023. Just 4 sleeps ‘til Christmas! I still have a stack of our family holiday cards that haven’t been sent out yet. Those friends will get their cards in the mail after the 25th for sure. I dropped the ball on making cute personalized gifts for Milo’s beloved preschool teachers (oops!), and they each got a venmo deposit instead. There are 2 major holiday events in Austin that I wanted to take the boys to see this year that probably (definitely) won’t happen now, and my plans to decorate the outside of my house for Christmas kept getting delayed…and delayed…and now the day is almost here and it’s for sureeeee going to be a “maybe next year” thing now.
…this holiday season is the coziest and most joy-filled in my immediate Kennedy family that we’ve had yet. I’m absolutely bursting with happy memories with my boys, my family, and my friends.
It was not a picture-perfect month (ha) by any standard. I’ve dropped the idea that I’ll ever create a curated magazine-type design blog with filtered travel photos (look at LivvyLand’s beautiful travel posts from her pre-kid days for that!), a perfectly styled home (Camille Styles is your spot for that), and artistic photographs of my children (a la Amber Fillerup Clark). There are humans who excel in all of these things, and this blog – and thus my life – isn’t that.
And so I’m just here to remind us that we’re all doing enough this holiday season. It’s ok to not do it all. It is! You’re fine. It’s ok to skip the Trail of Lights this year, or to decide you’re just not going to send holiday cards, or that the kids aren’t going to make homemade Christmas cookies from scratch with you on the kitchen counter. You’re not obligated to do it all (or any of it.)
You really are doing so much. Compare this time of the year to any other season, and you can clearly see that you’re absolutely crushing it with the gifts, the parties, the early Christmas #1 with his parents and early Christmas #2 with your parents and early Christmas #3 at home before traveling for the Actual Christmas and the presents in color-coded wrapping paper and many many questions about Santa and “like, is this gift from Santa or no because we still have 6 more chocolates left in the calendar before Santa comes?” and the special holiday sweaters in each toddler size and scheduling the events with the parking and the treats and the strollers and the “oh crap we forgot to get a group photo while we were there!” and the 1 thousand other things you are doing to create holiday memories for both yourself and your children.
It’s ok to not get a gift for every single loving person.
It’s ok to not go to a single pop up holiday bar this year.
It’s ok to host the cocktail party…or to not host the cocktail party.
It’s definitely ok to RSVP “no thanks” to a party if you’re having a hard season of life and just need to stay home and sleep. Or cry. Or take care of yourself in any way.
It’s fine to give your kids a bunch of gifts to open, and it’s fine to give them one gift to open.
Just a reminder…it’s all just for fun! There are so many things that feel like they are “musts” when really they’re just suggestions. And there’s a societal story about how you’re “supposed” to do the month of December, but it’s just a story. You get to make up your own story, and none of this is necessary.
How do you feel?? That’s what matters. If the hustle and bustle of it all brings you energy and joy, go for it! If it brings you stress and anxiety, you’re allowed to say no to all of it and you get to feel amazing about that decision.
Ok? I’m sending out so much love to you. I hope you’re being gentle with yourself. Many of us are in this walk of life with young kids, and it’s just…a lot. And also magical. But also a lot. So this is just my quick morning note to you to say that I think you’re doing a great job.
Merry (4 sleeps ‘til) Christmas! XO