With the hustle and bustle of the holidays, the plethora of Christmas crafts and recipes and home decor, you probably didn't even notice that I didn't post last week, except for the weekly link party. I hardly noticed myself. I was busy around here, fluffing and baking and prepping for two birthday parties that we hosted for our newly turned one and nine year olds. By the time the cupcakes were baked, the presents wrapped, and the favors set out on display, I realized that I hadn't bothered to write a new post for the blog.
And I was okay with it.
A year ago, two years ago, the thought of not having a brand-new fresh blog post for eager readers' eyes would have given me hives of epic proportions. Like the kind of hives you need a prescription for and then some heavy drinking to forgot the whole thing.
Maybe it was adding a new family member last December. Maybe it was a shift in priorities. Maybe I'm just tired.
Whatever the reason, I found myself less and less twitchy about sitting down every single night for an hour or so to edit photos, type out a post, edit, schedule, and then spend the next day relentlessly plugging said post on social media.
What's fun about that?
My hang-up has always been comparing myself to the gorgeous and inspiring homes I see on my friends' blogs. I do my best to find inspiration rather than let the discouragement get a hold of me, but it is a struggle. I love celebrating our fun little family traditions, but I have hesitated to share them because I know they just don't measure up.
Don't get me wrong. I love blogs, blogging, and bloggers. I just don't love the stress of it anymore. We have enough stress with pleasing in-laws, mothers, and children during the month of December. We have enough stress making sure everyone is clean and wearing pants to attend the preschool Christmas pageant. We have enough stress over those grocery store trips with all three kids to pick up the ingredients we forgot for the special Christmas cookies. We have enough stress with German Shepherds who EAT ORNAMENTS OFF THE TREE.
I can't tell you how many social media posts I saw last week where bloggers were in SUPER HIGH STRESS MODE over Christmas home tours going up this week. I have been that blogger...trying to festoon and adorn (and clean) every square inch of the first floor of our home with Christmas decor so I could have a pretty tour to post on the blog. Usually this involved yelling, kids crying, and an overall irritated demeanor that settled over the house for several days.
Yep. Super Christmasy, right?
I couldn't hop on board this year. I have certainly had my moments (the tree lights and I always have a disagreement at some point). But stepping back from the stress and worry of having creative tutorials, recipes, and tips up on the blog every single weekday this month has helped me appreciate this time.
I enjoyed a week of (relative leisure) putting out decorations a bit at a time, prepping for those two birthday parties, and fitting in regular day-to-day-life stuff with three kiddos. I'll probably post an abbreviated tour on the blog at some point this month, and I have some other things to share too...but I'm not going to worry too much about it because I'd rather enjoy some special moments with my family than sit at a computer every night. And you probably do too.
Take a deep breath with me and know that Christmas will still be there, even if you have Goldfish cracker crumbs on the floor and you don't have a custom holiday vignette on your dining room table.
Doesn't that sound nice?
No, our Christmas won't be "Pinterest Perfect" this year. But the first Christmas wasn't either. I highly doubt the baby Jesus had a handmade glitter polka dot pennant banner hanging over his manger that Mary made with the Silhouette/Cricut machine she lugged along with her all the way to Bethlehem.
I challenge you to shut the laptop tonight. Stick your phone in another room. Sit in front of your Christmas tree with its haphazardly hung paper and popsicle stick preschool ornaments and enjoy the quiet. Watch a funny Christmas movie with your husband. Read a good book. Drink some hot cocoa. Snuggle with the dog.
Your blog can wait. But Christmas can't.
While we're distracted with hanging lights, positioning that Elf on his shelf, snapping perfectly lit photos of peppermint cookies to be rePinned by 12,000 followers, the Christmas season is passing us by.
The "perfect Christmas", I am learning, is not the one you'll see on my blog. It's not the one you'll find as you scroll through Pinterest, or Instagram, or Facebook. It's the one you celebrate quietly at home in the glow of the Christmas tree lights. It's the moments you take with your children to thank The One who made all of this possible in the first place.
Enjoy your perfect Christmas!