The holiday madness has begun at Chez Rogers... I’ve finished most of my shopping, distributed three of five Advent calendars that I created for a few lucky people in the family. A plan has been made for buying a tree - a tradition my husband requested so that our house can smell like evergreen. I found fun wrapping paper with tropical scenes (totally my style) and one with T-Rexes wearing Santa hats!
One of my favorite parts of the holidays are the cards we receive with family pictures. I know we have more access to pictures of each other via social media, but I must confess… I like to see my friends and their kids sitting on my mantle! It’s so fun to see the little ones growing each year, taking up residence in their world, deciding who they are and what’s important to them. I love the letters with their updates on lives - it allows me to feel connected to people I adore, but don’t see much.
Over the years I have sent out similar cards, letters and photos. When our dog came into our life in 2015 I made sure to showcase her in the holiday card. I added a little of my personality by dressing her up and was happy to send off the greeting to friends and family. In the next few years I began a tradition I thought was fun. I dressed our little Malteepoo in costumes from Christmas movies and created cards with messages that came from the script.
My husband went along with this, mostly because I’m a pain in his ass when he doesn’t. He makes sure to remind me frequently that I am “stealing the dog’s dignity.” She hates every minute of wearing anything, including her harness, but is compliant thanks to handfuls of meaty bribery.
This year, while contemplating spending WAY too much money on a costume for the little dog, I read a piece online about how women go above and beyond at holiday time. Click here to read it.
Disconnected & Unhappy
In summary, we women run ourselves ragged in the spirit of making everything “perfect.” Most of it isn’t important, and it doesn’t leave us feeling more connected, happy or cheerful.
After reading, I scrolled through photos I had taken this year, cut and pasted them into a card, typed up a quick blurb about our life, (it really is a good one) and pushed “order.” When the cards arrived this week, I noticed a typo. When my husband looked at the photo I chose of us, he let me know he didn’t like it because it wasn’t flattering. The dog, however? Still cute.
This experience, juxtaposed with my constant commitment to live authentically, has me questioning all of it. Perhaps I can further lean into an honest stance this holiday season. When I consider what it is I value about December holidays, it’s connection, fun, giving gifts and the beauty we create to contrast the lack of daylight. My spiritual connection to this time of year focuses on the rebirth of hope and the coming of better, brighter days.
This begs me to ask, which of my holiday based choices are in alignment with my values?
I’m pretty sure I’ve bought my last roll of wrapping paper - it’s horrible for the environment and a waste of money. Sure I love the pretty packages. but it cannot withstand my new standards for holiday joy. I’m also reconsidering the time I spend looking for stocking stuffers. No o one really uses what I get them. And I am ABSOLUTELY not doing the shit show that is sugar treats this year. Puh-leeze!!!! We are all getting sick from this JUNK!
Traditions I'll Keep
Some traditions I will keep.
I love the tree - and that it makes my husband happy to smell it. I love buying stuff for the kids in my life. I love the new tradition I’ve started of giving Advent calendars, booze to my brothers-in-law, lots of specific treats to my nephew, and some fun treats for my in-laws.
I’ll keep sending the cards as well.
I have to admit, I considered redoing the card for just a few seconds. I’m choosing to double-down on my efforts to be authentic and send it even in its less-than-perfect state. That photo of me is how I look. I think my husband looks good in the photo - he’s wearing a fun t-shirt and smiling and he’s my favorite husband ever! The typo is something that happens to us all. Hell, I‘ve read published books with typos! The dog is smiling in her photo too. She was outside sunbathing - not posed, or wearing a costume, or doing anything I had to bribe her to do.
It’s real. It’s imperfect and it’s good enough.
Just like me. Just like you. Just like this beautiful life!
Stop Killing Yourself
What holiday traditions are you killing yourself over in effort to live up to some standard that isn’t real? What can you prioritize? Let go? Lean into for more joy and connection? Inspire your Hive and leave your thoughts in the comments below.