I think social media broke Christmas.
That’s a bold statement. I know. When I tell people I hate Christmas, they look at me like I have 3 heads. Truth is, I don’t hate Christmas. I hate what Christmas has become. I am burnt out.
Halloween has been over for a week, but big box stores have already had Christmas decorations up for a month or more already. Christmas trees are flying up in neighborhoods everywhere. You guessed it. Lizzo isn’t slapping like it used to way back in August, but Nat King Cole is crooning like he’s been waiting for this all year.
The whole thing gives me anxiety. December gives me anxiety.
In the interest of full disclosure, cold weather sucks out my soul. It’s not why I fret about December, but it definitely doesn’t help.
Christmas is just too much. It’s too over the top. It’s too stressful. It’s too busy. It’s too predictable.
Every year as the last dish gets cleared off of the table at Thanksgiving, it’s GO TIME. There is an immediate checklist in my brain of all of the magical things that must be done in order to achieve true Christmas transcendence.
When will we make Christmas cookies? Not too early because we will eat them all or they’ll be stale, but not too late because we might run out of time and WE CANNOT GIVE SANTA OREOS if everyone else is giving him homemade cookies.
When will we wrap presents? It has to be done when the kids aren’t around. Do we put them to bed early? Do we stay up all night wrapping? Do we wrap as they arrive?
Did we do enough crafts? Where did we put those ornaments the kids made last year but we didn’t get until January? Did I forget a present for the Secretary? Did Grandma’s present get delivered? They don’t have these pajamas in all the kids’ sizes… I guess I’ll keep looking. Did I got over budget? Is that a paper cut? Did Karen write me back with their updated address?
Why. am. I. not. holly. jolly?
I am not holly jolly because the season isn’t holly jolly anymore. There is so much expectation to make everything instagram worthy. It’s pressure and consumerism and forced festiveness and no time to just breath and be with family and be thankful.
This year? This year I am going to ask myself: Is this to make it magical for the kids or make it magical for me?
Can I be honest? My kids usually sleep in mismatched, inside out pajamas or their underwear. There. I outed myself. I’ll ask them, but I don’t think they’re going to be devastated this year if I don’t spend $150 on matching pajamas and then force them to take 2838 pictures until I get the perfect Facebook worthy one. I didn’t have siblings, but my parents and I never wore matching pajamas and I still managed to have a happy childhood. Matching pajamas are on the chopping block this year. The end.
If you know me IRL, you know that I am the self-titled Queen of Christmas Cards. Here is our card from 2018.
I love so much to receieve Christmas cards, but sending them is a strange form of festive torture. I hate the post office. HATE. I am thankful for what they do, truly I am. Still. I would live a full and complete life if I never have to step foot in a post office again for the remainder of my days on Earth. Also, as a military family, at least 60% of our Christmas list turns over from year to year. I love all my people, but tracking you down every year is a giant pain in my ass. Last year? I carried around stuffed and stamped Chrsitmas card envelopes with me everywhere I went from Thanksgiving until December 15th, so I could address them on the spot and drop them in the mail before they got lost in the tinsel tornado that was my car or house. Honestly. I am giving myself 2019 off from sending Christmas cards. I might make one and post it on social media, but I can assure you that a card is not coming in the mail from the Drews this year.
We will still bake Christmas cookies and we will still pick out our Christmas tree together. We probably won’t be wearing matching aprons or matching shirts- in fact I know we won’t. I might give my kids an axe to cut down the tree and I may or may not take pictures of it. We will still sing Christmas carols and we will still wrap presents. We will still decorate, but we will let the kids do it and I will still hate it because CLUTTER. We will watch movies snuggled up in our mismatched pajamas and eat popcorn and not vaccum it up until the next day.
We won’t feel bad if we don’t make it to see Santa. We won’t feel bad if we don’t make it to every sing-a-long and cookie decorating. We won’t feel bad about not being the busiest, jollyiest family of elves that ever was.
We will still celebrate, but this year we will also REST. This year we are making family magic, not social media magic. We are the Drews and that’s enough.