In years past, my household mantra at Christmastime was “clean, clean, clean.” I am known for driving my family insane to get the house in order before all our Christmas parties begin. Although, I’m proud to say I’ve gotten a little more relaxed about this in the past few years; and if my children are reading this, don’t think I didn’t see your eyes roll. Once I gave everyone their marching orders, I became a pushy drill sergeant to get everything accomplished before the first guest arrived. And it seemed no matter how hard we worked, we could never get everything done. My family doesn’t think I know it, but they had their own shortcuts and ways around doing everything the way I’d like. In the past, I’d always viewed this attitude with gritted teeth and a long-suffering smile – you know – just the way we moms have done for generations.
This Christmas, however, things are different. I have a new job that’s some distance away and by the time I get home, sometimes it’s all I can do to get through dinner and take care of the daily stuff, let alone deep cleaning and heavy-duty cooking. You know what I’m saying? So, this year I told the fam “Let’s just concentrate on the bathrooms and kitchen, and anything else is gravy.”
When Christmas Party #1 of 3 came, did I cook everything on my list from last year plus all the new things I wanted to do? Are you kidding me? That would be a big “No!” As folks let me know what they were bringing, I learned most were desserts, so I opted for a simple veggie dish my Aunt Betty taught me to go with the main entrée we were providing. However, that didn’t stop the shocked questions and comments: “You didn’t make orange balls?!” “Where are the ham rolls?” “Didn’t you make anything sweet?”
I also learned to delegate. In preparation for the party, I asked my niece to help decide on the family game this year. Ok, well, that was a bust, and we ended up with charades again, but hey, we had a blast, as evidenced by the posted videos that cropped up.
It wasn’t a conscious decision to let some things go this holiday, but it definitely gave me, and my family if I’m honest, some relief from the holiday pressure we all feel at times to make everything as perfect as possible. And you know what? I think it’s going to be a very blessed Christmas season indeed.
From our house to yours, Merry Christmas!