It's the final holiday countdown, and the to-do list is never-ending.
You can't stop thinking about every item that hasn't been crossed off, every present that still needs wrapping, every grocery run you still need to make. You're scrambling for stocking stuffers, running late to holiday parties, throwing last-minute presents in your cart. It's the most wonderful time of the year, but you feel like you're drowning.
I see you.
You'll do anything to make this year even better than the last. You want everything to be perfect, so you're staying up too late, attaching that coffee IV, trying to fit in every holiday tradition.
I see you.
Mama, I know it's hard when all you can see is the holiday countdown ticking. But I need you to know something...
You're doing great.
You are the reason this holiday is so cherished in your house. I know, I know: it's hard not to compare your holiday magic-making efforts to what you see on TV or social media. I get it. I see them too. You're asking yourself, how are they do it all? How do they come up with these things? I know. I ask myself this too. But you know what I learned?
Even if I'm not a picture-perfect Pinterest mom at the holidays, my kids still feel the magic.
They still spend each morning racing through the house, trying to find their beloved elf. They don't care that he just pops up on different shelves instead of scaling down a rope from the ceiling, or getting "captured" by other toys to make a photo-worthy tableau. While I'm beating myself up for not buying the props I need to make a Pinterest elf, my children still shout from excitement, "Mom, I found him!"
You know what? Store-bought cookies are absolutely okay to decorate. We have just as much fun decorating store-bought cookies from Target as we would have dedicating a whole Sunday to baking. While I begin to spiral about how Grandma would judge me for not using her beloved recipe, my thoughts are interrupted by my children giggling and designing their cookies, licking their little icing fingers all the same.
Our pre-packaged hot cocoa is just as delicious without the adorable hot chocolate bar taking up all my counter space. I know--I was shocked too! How could hot chocolate possibly taste so good without the stovetop-melted chocolate, the eight kinds of sprinkles, and the three flavors of homemade whipped cream? But somehow, even without all the fixings, it's still delectable.
There are many amazingly talented mamas who create picture-perfect Christmases, the kind of holiday celebrations you see in Lifetime movies. The busy bakers, the amateur chefs, the interior design pros, the creative game-makers and tree-decorators and Elf on the Shelf experts...They're all astounding in their own ways, and a tiny part of me will always wish I was more like them.
But mama, even if you aren't Pinterest-perfect, you are perfect.
You are why these few weeks stand out among the other 11 months of the year.
Your kids won't remember how the cookies arrived; they'll just remember how much fun they had with you decorating them. They won't remember that their elf didn't bring his A-game; they'll just remember the excitement of trying to find him. They won't eve remember every single gift they've ever opened.
They will just remember that on December 25th, Santa came...
And it's all because of you.