‘Tis the season! For shopping, gift giving, baking, decorating, parties, and frenzy! It’s not even December 1st and yet, I know many of you are feeling the pressure cooker of it all. And it’s too much and you’re not enough. But that’s a lie and what if we all decided to stop the madness, not only for ourselves but for others too? Wouldn’t a calm and peaceful holiday season be refreshing?
It’s possible. But it will take some thoughtful consideration on your part. And if we work together, we can combat the impact of the crazy around us.
The stress of perfection claws at us all during the Christmas season. The perfectly decorated tree and home. The right gifts so the kids have the most perfect Christmas ever. Baking enough goodies to give out to others. Did you pick out a thoughtful gift for the inlaws that they will love or hate? Is it enough? Are you enough?
And then your friend Susie posts her amazing deal for the perfect gift on social media. Hmmm… You can’t afford that. Must be nice to be her.
Another post of her perfect Martha Stewartesc tree and outside decorations. Everything matches and everything placed just so. Your tree looks like the cat decorated it with it’s mismatched and homemade ornaments. You barely got a strand of lights up on the outside of the house and they’re crooked as all get out. Lame. Must be nice to be her.
Shannon posts pictures of her flawlessly decorate sugar cookies. Seriously, they should be in a magazine. And you glance over at the rice crispy treats you made because you can’t bake. And your 2 year old stuck his fingers in creating holes because, well that’s what little gangster toddlers do! Yeah, those won’t be going on Facebook for the world to see. Maybe if you slather a coat of chocolate over the top no one will notice. Inadequate should be tattooed on your forehead. Must be nice to be Shannon.
Envy builds it’s little Thomas Kinkade gingerbread house in your mind and invites you in to drink some green eyed tea. You suck. Why can’t you just get this holiday thing right? Why can’t you have just a little more money to do the things you want to do so this can be the best Christmas ever?
Or just maybe you’re Shannon or Susie with the model holiday season and you enjoy sharing those perfections on social media. You’re proud of what you’ve accomplished. You should be!
But maybe there’s a kinder way to behave on social media this year. Just maybe all those perfect pictures don’t need to be shared. Perhaps we can go back to a simpler time before social media where the only way we knew your child got the latest xbox was if they told your kids in person.
Could we just get real this year? Stop the brag table of one upping each other for our own pride? What if we just cut the crap and refused to share those pictures or posts completely? If we told our kids not to brag about how their relatives gave them hundreds of dollars or the latest and greatest gadget? What if we only posted smiling pictures of our kids in front of the tree, instead of the photos of them unwrapping gifts that come across as braggy?
What if we loved each other enough to ask ourselves why we are getting ready to post a certain picture? Is it to lift others up and encourage them? Or is it so you can show off?
What if we thought of how our posts might make someone else feel, especially if they are going through a rough time? Not because there is anything wrong with any of those kinds of posts, but because we vow to be thoughtful of others? To be loving, and sometimes that looks like not encouraging another person’s green eyed monster to rear it’s ugly head.
If we kept others with less in mind for everything we post, it could bring some calm to those who are feeling anxious because they already know they can’t give their families the magical Christmas they desire. And maybe it will take some pressure off of you too, if you’re not worrying about having Pinterest worthy images of your holiday season.
And I get it. Grandparents want to see pictures of what’s going on in your life. I’m in the same boat. But do we need to publicly post all of those images? Or can we create an album that only the family can see?
Some of you are going to be offended by this request to calm it down, and that’s okay. Can I challenge you to really think about why this bothers you so much?
And if you are ready to take this on, share this article with others and spread the word so more folks can jump on board. Let me know what you think in the comments!
PS – I’m just as guilty as the next person with the things I share. It’s going to take some effort to decide what I should or should not share.