December is rough

This time of year is, for many people, brutal.

Schedules. Expectations. Hopes. Dreams. Memories.

Parents. Kids. Spouses. Friends. Other communities.

Decorations. Gifts. Meals. Sweets. Parties.

Religion. Other religions. Politics.

Please, for your mental and physical health, first trim the lists, then trim the lists again, then delegate.

Ladies, as a generalization, we are bad at this. Share the load with other people in your house. And when the jobs are done not quite the way you would have done them but they’re good enough, say thank you and leave the job done as it was.

It doesn’t feel good to be berated after doing something for not having done it to spec, or to do something and have someone else redo it. Let it be good enough.

Unless it’s dangerous (electricity and water, or undercooked poultry, for examples), let it be good enough. (I might write more about just this another day…)

Don’t do chores for your old-enough-to-do-it-themselves children. (That is year-round, not just December. And delegate holiday work to them, too.)

I find that giving options works well. On Sunday (which was not a no-work Sunday, sadly), my 7-year-old had three options and he had to choose two: clean his toilet (this is a weekly chore for him), help pull weeds outside, fold the recently-washed napkins, placemats, and kitchen towels. He chose two, was super-happy not to have to clean the toilet this week, and didn’t complain a bit. I was happy to have help in the yard because what he got done takes longer than it takes me to clean the toilet. Win-win.

In trimming lists, trim the to-do. Keep what you need for it to “feel like Christmas” and ditch the rest. Trim the to-go. There are so many events and things to do. There were three things going on this past weekend that I had on the Maybe List that we didn’t get to. The weekend was full enough that I never even looked at the Maybe List.

It’s OK not to do it all*.

Just like at Thanksgiving, you are more important than the stuff. Trim the lists so you can enjoy it.

*Side note about skipping stuff this weekend: I didn’t tell The Kid that any of those things was a possibility, so he wasn’t disappointed to miss them. The Climbing Daddy wasn’t super-interested in any of them (but amenable to all), so there was no sadness other than: we all wish there was more time.


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