There was no plan this year. In my mind I was going to host Christmas and we would go to someone’s house for Thanksgiving. We just put a new roof on the house that ended up costing us a lot more than the estimate, my refrigerator door is broken and soon enough the dishwasher followed along and broke as well. These things happen. As it got closer to Thanksgiving we realized that no one had invited us over so I began to make some calls. It seemed as if everyone had their own issues revolving around this time. Hmmm. Okay, well my first thought was that I need to make sure my mom was being taken care and having Thanksgiving with someone. The older she gets the more uncomfortable she is becoming with crowds so she turned down my sister and my brother’s invitations and I decided to have a small Thanksgiving here. Small and sweet. It was probably up there for on the list as one of my favorite Thanksgivings. Here’s why:
This Thanksgiving I learned that:
10. what other people do is more about them than about you. ( I tend to take things personally, but as I have gotten older this bad habit is fading. Thank God! Other people had similar things going on in their lives or even worse. When people make choices on what to do and where to go on a holiday it’s about them and their family. Don’t make it personal. I know I’m not the only that doesn’t spew every single thing about my life on-line. Frankly, if you aren’t close to me (as in we talk regularly) you have no idea.)
9. things change and people change. There is no way to stop it and you shouldn’t want too. ( As, the youngest in my family I do tend to get a little sad about things not being the way they were when I was younger. Life is constantly changing and you have to take the bad with the good. This is an opportunity to make new memories and traditions.)
8. some of these things above are reasons why holidays are so stressful and they shouldn’t be. (You shouldn’t make yourself or your children miserable by being someplace you don’t want to be. Say no, stop by, make accommodations on making the season fun. You can still acknowledge someone and not make them feel left out at the same time.)
7. every person’s Thanksgiving (holiday) is different from yours. Don’t compare. (I actually saw a few people doing what seemed like apologizing online for having a “small” Thanksgiving. What? Thanksgiving is about being thankful for what we have, not comparing ourselves to others and thinking we have less? How can that be measured? It can’t! More isn’t about food, friends, or things. More isn’t what it’s about, it’s about having enough and rejoicing in it and sharing with someone who doesn’t.)
6. I am still extra. ( As I was decorating, cleaning, and preparing food, I stopped and said, “Why am I doing all of this? It’s only 7 of us.” My son replied, “Because you are extra mom and I think I’m just like you. I always do just a bit more even when I don’t have to because it makes me feel good.”)
5. asking people to bring food doesn’t make me any less of a host. ( Going back to the top of this post and all of the expenses we had happen I was concerned about paying for 2 holidays. All that cheer adds up quickly. I hated saying yes to people bringing food, but it was perfect. Not only did I have less to prepare, but it helped save a few bucks. Also everyone felt as if they did something.)
4. you need to do it because you want to, not for anyone else. (This goes back to being extra. Yes, I do more but I do it for me. Hearing compliments is great, but if you do something in order to expect something in return it will make you miserable. Do it for you.)
3. clean up can be a breeze when everyone helps. (Since my dishwasher was broken and I like to use my good china having help is amazing. Send people home with leftovers, put things away right away, and have a back up plan if you have kids that might want to eat more later and you”re over it. A frozen pizza is awesome!)
2. my children are much better people than I was at their age. ( Talk to your kids before you have guests over. It makes such a big difference and I do it every year. My guys were always asking me if I needed help, cared for our guests, helped cleaning up, and handled themselves with manners. Love them!)
1. focusing all your energy into being in the moment and being positive with whatever may come is the surefire way to a happy day. ( What else can I say? Put your phones down and start enjoying what is right in front of you and not what’s happening at someone else’s house! You can’t enjoy the moment f you are someplace else mentally. Life is happening right in front of your face. Right now. Perfect is the laughing at the burnt muffins, spilling wine on the tablecloth, and in the conversations that you never knew you could have someone who happened because of this day.)
As we enter the next holiday season and your news feed is flooded by the person that has to show you the 500 gifts they bought their kids, every single thing that darn elf does, parties that you weren’t invited too, and a whole bunch of things that trigger you remember this….what you have to give is enough. Love is measured in gifts unseen. You have your own life, your own memories, and whether you eat off of fine china or paper plates, the food tastes the same.
Unplug, simplify, and grab that moment happening before your eyes. I wish you enough!