It’s that time of year again! The time of year where Hallmark Christmas movies make us all feel like we are inadequately celebrating the holidays. There is always the Christmas baking where the ginger bread men are decorated perfectly, and no body parts have broken off. Christmas trees are cut fresh from the forest. Mom’s help with their child’s Christmas show, where the children sing and dance in perfect form! Families are always smiling. A fire is always burning. Snow delicately falls on men and women. And all the women look perfectly put together. Always with perfectly done hair and makeup. And the children are always so well behaved and perfect! No fussing in site. It’s a Christmas miracle! And of course two people always fall in love at the end. Always the girl having to choose if she’s going to dump the current boyfriend she’s with (who’s usually super rich and handsome, but just a workaholic), or the man in her small city who is also super handsome, but not as rich. And family is always first.
I love these movies! I think they are really, cheesy and I always wonder, do these people really exist? People who can get through Christmas laughing and throwing snowballs at each other, not a drop of wine in sight? People who bake cookies in stilettos and never wear sweat or yoga pants? Women who aren’t so rushed they just throw their hair into a messy bun, while trying to rub the eyeliner off from under their eyes because they were too tired to wash their face the night before? I want to live in these towns! Show me how and where!
As much as I love these movies, I do think they place a whole lot of pressure on people to have that “perfect Christmas”. Christmas becomes full of unrealistic expectations. Many become so stressed out trying to make Christmas like the movies, that strain is put on every relationship around them. And the spirit of Christmas is lost.
I am not a mom, but I am an auntie to a three-year-old little girl and 5 year old twins. I tell you what. There is nothing like seeing Christmas through the eyes of a child. You can actually sense the magic and wonder that they feel. The anticipation. They aren’t running around looking for the impossible to find gift that a spouse doesn’t need. They are living in the moment, for the moment. Granted, much of that magic is created by adults. But I guarantee you, a child doesn’t care that the lights aren’t all perfectly placed on the house. They are just captivated by the beauty of the colors. And unless your kid is anal retentive, they don’t care how perfectly their Santa sugar cookie has been decorated. What they care about? The memories they’re making.
We had our family Christmas party this past weekend. It was so fun! A lot of work but the girls came down and said, “auntie Mel! All the girls are upstairs curling our hair! You need to come!” Of course there was a lot to do, but I wasn’t going to pass on this! So all of us girls squeezed into the bathroom and curled out hair, giggling and making memories. Hopefully these two little ones remember this moment forever. Most likely they won’t remember the hustle beforehand, or stress, but they’ll remember how much fun that moment was for all of us. I know I will! And I would have missed it if I had decided I was just too busy.
It does make me wonder though, how much do we miss in the present moment because we HAVE to get things done right at that moment? How many times have you said “Later” to a child or skipped walking the dogs on a beautiful day, because you felt like the dishwasher HAS to be emptied at that moment?
This has lately become a question for me in my daily life. And I will continue to ask myself, “can this wait?” if it means making memories with someone else. Or skipping something healthy for myself, like barre class, because I just don’t have time! There is always time. It just depends what we make a priority. Making myself a priority will definitely be a must in 2020. I’m ending 2019 strong to make 2020 amazing!
I hope that you will take the time to really enjoy the moments. You don’t get them back! Happy Holidays everyone! Go make memories!
Happy Holidays from Pilates Plus and myself (Melissa Peda)