• Amanda Dixon

It's Okay! Holiday Edition



The Holiday Season is upon us friends.

And you know what that means.

The BUSIEST time of the year is knocking on our doors.

At the time of this blog post we have just...


3 days until Halloween

26 days until Thanksgiving

51 days until Hannukah

57 days until Christmas

It's during this time of year that I run the gamut of emotions: from extra stressed, anxious, feeling inadequate to joyful, grateful, excited. It's beautifully exhausting to say the least. There is literally so much to do.

As my children have gotten older, I've been able to identify some of my holiday season triggers, and I am willing to bet you can relate to some of them.

This year, I want to encourage ALL of us to take a less is more approach to the holidays. Please let us try as hard as we can NOT TO COMPARE our holiday season to someone else's instagram reel. May we make this holiday season our own. Doing only the things that bring us and our families joy. Only the things that we have energy for.

My new motto for the Holidays is going to be, “It's okay". And if it feels good to you, I want it to be yours too.


All of the Activities

It's okay if you can't make it to all of the haunted houses, pumpkin patches and halloween parties. It's okay if you only trick or treat for 20 minutes. It's okay if you don't have elaborately carved pumpkins. It's okay if you buy costumes this weekend or if you handmade them or if your 3 year old wants to wear the same costume as last year. It's okay if you don't get family pictures at the Christmas Tree Farm. It's okay if you don't roast chestnuts over the fire. It's all okay.

All of the Stuff

It's okay if your house isn't elaborately decorated with lights and inflatables. It's also okay if it is. It's okay if you say no to gifts from family members and friends and ask for experiences or the gift of time instead. It's okay to skip on gifts altogether. It's okay if your family doesn't have matching pajamas. It's okay if your children have one or two special gifts under the tree instead of 20. It's okay if they have more than 2. It's all okay.

Boundaries

It's okay to say no to family gatherings if they bring on negative emotions for you. It's okay if you don't have the means or the time or the energy to donate or volunteer. It's okay to preserve your time and energy by going to a restaurant or ordering takeout or buying pre-made cookies from the grocery store. It's okay to set boundaries with your time, energy and emotions so that you can be present for your family. It's all okay.


{If you need an idea of what to say to family members who insist on giving tons of gifts, even if it doesn't align with your boundaries, read this. }

On the other hand, it's absolutely okay to do all of the aforementioned things as long as they don't steal your time, energy or ability to be present in the small moments. As long they bring you and your children joy. You know yourself and your family best.


But I am going to give you one friendly reminder….


It is often the small moments that our children remember most.


So...before you make tooooooo many commitments or plan too many activities, I encourage to ask yourself,


“Is this for me and for my children, or for someone else?"

It's okay for you to have fun and choose activities based on what brings you (not just your children) joy. For me, it going to Disneyland at Christmas time. This is literally the only BIG activity we do for the Holidays. Seeing the parade and smelling the churros and seeing the magic of Christmas at Disneyland through my children's eyes is so special for me. Don't get me wrong, they love it too. But I wouldn't do it if it didn't also bring me a great deal of joy.

It's okay to say no to something that your children want to do if it causes you stress. Carving pumpkins is hard for me. I hate it. It's messy and feels weird and never goes as planned. So my husband takes care of that one.


But other than yourself and your family, you don't really need to worry about anyone else right now if that feels like too much.


One last note before I leave you for now....


We've been talking a lot about overstimulation on instagram, and how that impacts our children. And the Holidays are the most overstimulating time of the year for kids. Sugar, lights, staying up late, over-scheduled, etc. It can be a lot.

{If you missed it, you can check out a super quick reel that discusses all of the ways our children are being overstimulated by clicking here.}


So you may want to keep overstimulation in mind when planning your activities for the holiday season. If your child is easily overstimulated, that doesn't mean you have to skip all of the fun. Just find a middle ground. Schedule in down time.

TLDR: To sum it up, be mindful of how you spend your time and energy this holiday season.


I'm sure we will chat before long, but just in case, wishing you and your sweet families the happiest of holidays!


Playfully yours,

Amanda


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