Never in my life have I been in the middle of the “holiday frenzy” like I was yesterday. After we were more than halfway through decorating our tree, we decided to add a little blue to our existing color palette. “No problem!”, I thought. I popped over to my computer to see who had the best sale on holiday decor and quickly discovered Michaels had a one-day 50% off holiday decor sale with an additional 20% off your entire order with a special code at checkout. Sounds easy enough! Sign me up! I told the fam I’d be right back and jumped in my car for the quick little trip.
That didn’t work out the way I planned.
I don’t do “Black Friday”. I don’t do pre-Christmas mall shopping. Clearly, I just don’t do much shopping at all because, upon my arrival at Michaels, I could hardly even assimilate what was happening. There were so. many. people. There were shopping carts and baskets lining every aisle. The checkout clerks where shouting numbers and chanting loud, obnoxious, yet somehow cheery mantras. I opted for a little rolling basket instead of a big red cart, knowing that my current level of sanity wouldn’t withstand navigating a cart through this kind of in-store traffic. Looking for the colors I came to buy, led me to bend in odd directions, peer around other people’s behinds, and get accidentally accosted in all kinds of interesting ways.
It was an exciting experience that I shall try to never duplicate in this lifetime.
I found it strange that the other shoppers were surprisingly not bothered by any of this at all. By the way they simply went along their merry ways . . . reaching, bumping, and squeezing along, this is apparently “the norm” for holiday shopping, at least during the big sales. It was like some sort of alternate reality where this kind of chaos is expected.
But for me, all I wanted was to get what I came for, and get back home to my family.
I even picked up a make-at-home gingerbread house while waiting in the seemingly never-ending line. Because, somehow in the moment, it felt like if I came home with a “whole family” project, it might make up for the fact that my quick little trip to the craft store took me multiple hours. It was a moment of “mom-guilt” at its very finest. Here’s the thing though.
That feeling can be useful.
Not as guilt to wallow in, but a feeling to pay attention to. What I was noticing was that I really wanted to be spending time with my kids, more than I wanted to decorate the house and that’s not a bad thing. But even when I got home, we had to unload the car, eat dinner, clean up dinner, and get ready for bed. So there wasn’t much free family time then either. But before the boys fell asleep, I had a good talk with each of them about the amount and quality of our time together over the past year.
It was healing, and clarifying, for all of us.
Building a house while Scott and I are both building our businesses has been an adjustment for all of us this year, to say the least. But the conversations we had last night highlighted for me, that it’s been especially hard on the kids, even though they haven’t really said it before. My apology for being gone “shopping” so long, opened up a conversation about feelings that we haven’t previously explored. I was able to hear and validate their feelings about me being too busy and apologize for not talking more about it along the way. I was also able to give them a little context, that this first year has held surprises for all of us. I also let them know that I would 100%, rather be laughing on the couch, or playing a board game with them, than to be fighting a crowd at the craft store. That apology and context didn’t replace the time I’ve missed, but it did replace some of the hurt, with understanding and healing.
It repaired connection.
As you navigate your own busyness this holiday season, I hope this little story will be a good reminder for you. You might not be able to be present for every little moment, but you can talk about it. You can open up a dialogue about feelings. Both your feelings, and the feelings of the ones you love. Conversations bring understanding. Understanding brings healing.
Healing brings connection.
Put connection with the ones you love on your list today.
It’s the only gift that lasts.
to more love,
p.s. If you want a little boost in your efforts to get ready for the holidays, join us on Thursday for “Holiday Ready GNO“. It will be a night full of tips and tricks and insights, with a huge focus on connecting with the ones you love! Grab your besties and join us for a done-for-you holiday girls night out.