Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Christmas Perfection

Perfection is a mom disease. It has many faces: Clean house perfection, perfectly behaved children, and expecting perfection from our husbands. I usually struggle with this perfection illness most at Christmas. The house should be perfectly decorated, always clean, children dressed in their yuletide best, beautiful smells and dishes should flow from my kitchen, and my husband should joyfully help put up the tree and lights.

Just the thought of it all makes my head spin. I think I’ve mellowed a little in the past few years. Somehow when the kids were small and I had more control over what they ate and wore, the pressure was greater. People expected them to look sweet, right?

Whatever stage you’re in as a mom, before we hit the chaos of December, let’s take some time to put into our schedules the most important things and plan our time according to those priorities:

1. Who do you want to visit this Christmas? Is there an elderly neighbor or family member that you really want your children to know?
2. What do you want to do as a family (that would be enjoyable for all of you)
3. How do you want to present the real meaning of Christmas to your children this year?
4. In what ways can you use the holidays to strengthen relationships with your spouse, children and other family and friends?
5. Is there a family tradition that your kids look forward to each year?

Here are some things to cut that can calm the Christmas Holiday:

1. You don’t have to unpack every box. Contents of unopened boxes will seem new next year!
2. Make one obvious spot in your house the focal point for decorating: maybe a fireplace, your front door, a staircase, or garland and lights around a mirror.
3. Decide on three gifts or fewer for your children – Jesus only received 3 gifts (gold, frankincense and myrrh) so our kids don’t need more than that. When I limit myself, my gifts are usually more thoughtful.
4. Make time to spend with God. Pray for His direction in your days this Christmas. When I can’t make sense of my days, He always has a way of putting them together much better than I dreamed.

If we live by the “Less is More” principal, we’ll find that we have more time to do the things that matter most.

Enjoying this Christmas Season!

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