The holiday season is upon us and this will undoubtedly be much different for our family this year. Yes, we plan to be joyful and festive. However, we’ve decided that GRACE will play a role in how we approach the holidays – less pressures, no over-committing and enjoyment of whatever weather the season brings.
This is our GRACE.
G is for Gratitude.
There will be no looking outward at what we don’t have or the imperfect decorations, cookies or tree this season. Instead we will look inward and fill our hearts with gratitude, appreciating the wonder and awesomeness of being alive.
R is for a Realistic Schedule.
When David and I were newlyweds, this was our Christmas routine: Christmas Eve dinner with his family, sometimes Midnight Mass, Christmas morning brunch with his family, Christmas day with my family, Christmas evening with friends or more family. Go home and collapse.
Needless to say, we’ve cut this schedule back but it’s not easy to say “no” especially to family. Our sanity is more important and we’ve found it is now more enjoyable to spread the celebration out over several days.
A is for Ask for Help.
We will ask for help this year. Beating ourselves up to fulfill “family expectations” (see above) or overextending ourselves with events will not be part of the plan. If one event falls through or if the gifts aren’t wrapped perfectly or the cookies burn, the entire holiday will not fall to pieces. We will not overshadow fun Christmas memories by being stressed and exhausted! That’s not the image to imprint in Gia’s mind.
C is for Care for Ourselves.
We will take care of ourselves to avoid fatigue and stress. Choosing how we spend our time will play an important role in how much we will enjoy the season. Pedicures for the girls, massages, yoga for David, wine, naps and workouts – just what the doctor will order (or me)!
E is for Expectations.
Our family discussion at the dinner table tonight consisted of our “must have” expectations for the holidays. Cookies, family decorating, shopping together and separately, early presents, holiday cards and family photos, parties for Gia’s friends, chemo appointments, CT Scans and work – navigating the season will be a challenge. But we are committed to changing the expectations if need be in order to enjoy more family time as it is more precious than ever this year.
How will you give yourself GRACE during the holidays?