• Kari

Christmas Bucket List

On a good day, it is still so very tough being a woman. (Can I get an amen?) There are so many pressures and expectations placed on us. What you look like, what you dress like, how your home looks, how your kids act, what job you have, if you do work, if you don't work, how long it took to make your dinner, if you volunteer at your kid's school. This time of year is especially hard. What are you making for Thanksgiving? Didn't you make that last year? It wasn't as good as your mother's. What are your kids wearing in the Christmas card photo? You didn't take it in a field? Why aren't they smiling? Oh, you're not doing Christmas cards? What will people think? How many parties are you going to? What are you making for those parties? What are you wearing? You're wearing the same thing to two different parties? What are the kids getting for Christmas? How many Christmas lights are you putting up? Does your house look like a Christmas magazine? How are you wrapping your gifts? Why doesn't your hair look like hers in your Christmas photo? Do your children look like perfect angles in their Santa photo? How many cookies have you baked? Oh, you got store bought dough? Have you lost the 15 lbs that you wanted to? The list goes on and on. And, I wonder how many pressures I put on myself unnecessarily.

Do you ever feel like you're not enough? If I'm being honest, I've been struggling with this lately. I definitely don't look like the woman in the magazine. I haven't bought myself new clothes that make me feel great in awhile because my kids keep growing faster than I can keep up with. A new dress for me means they go in high waters. (Tempting) I can't cook a meal that wows and amazes people. My serving dishes are hand me downs from family members that mean something to me, but aren't the prettiest. The presents I wrap look like they have been through war. Not because I can't wrap, but because I'm tired. And the kids are just going to rip them open. And, I'd rather spend more on the kids than on pretty ribbons and bows that will get thrown in the trash .2 seconds after being opened. As an introvert, too many parties is not an option. I am choosy about which ones I go to where my sanity will stay in tact for my family. And while baking cookies is sometimes wonderful, so is plopping the little pre-made dough squares on the tray with my 5 year old. I have learned that my kids don't care what I'm doing with them, just that I am doing it WITH them. My summer body for sure wasn't ready, but my winter body is good to go. I've slowly started to widdle away at the expectations of others and focused on what makes our family work. What makes us happy? What traditions do we want, and which do we want to stop doing? Are you guilty of silently placing these judgements on others?

Because, the fact of the matter is - We aren't enough. Not one lady. (Ok, Maybe Living with Landyn. She really has her stuff together.) We are not enough on our own. We are a stitch in the fabric that God creates out of us. And, doesn't that take all of the pressure off? God created you to be exactly you, not a cookie cutter (pun intended) mold of how everyone else does things. He knew the world needed one of YOU. Your kids need you, not someone else's mother. Your husband married you, not someone else's wife. Your friends chose you to hang out with, not a copy cat version of yourself. One of my favorite quotes says it all.

"Be yourself. Everyone else is taken." - Oscar Wilde

So, this year, my family sat down and we made our own bucket list of things that we, as a family, feel are important to us. They may not be special to other people, but to us they are what we want from this holiday season, and that's what should count. What would be on your Christmas bucket list?