no elves at our house

Holiday season is upon us. Shopping, movies, decorations, food, gifts, Santa, giving, countdowns, elves, cards... I always get this weird feeling at this time of year that I'm a super incompetent parent. (and person in general) Now don't get me wrong, I'm super into the holidays. I love putting up a few decorations, I have a few designated favorite Christmas movies to watch during the month and we designate a special night each year to drink hot cocoa and drive around to look at all the lights while listening to holiday music. And yet, I feel like I'm behind the curve. 

I don't know when this whole season of a million ways to entertain our kids began but I just don't have the energy for it. Maybe it was during the blogging and Pinterest spike a couple of years ago. Suddenly we all could see these perfect images of parents planning out count down calendars with gifts for every single day until Christmas, there were endless ideas of how to precariously pose your Elf on the Shelf, quirky Santa photos and holiday card ideas galore. Now I'm not knocking anyone who does all of these things and more, I get it...we all want to make this time of year extra special for our children. But isn't it just exhausting and stressful? I can barely manage to do one extra thing for my kids during an average month, I have no business creating a production for 25 days. 

What I'm saying is that it's ok if you don't go crazy.  There will be no elf on the shelf doing naughty things around my house every night. No elaborate count downs or any gifts before the big day. Santa doesn't get too much attention here, he brings something small and that's that. We might watch Elf too many times and I may never turn of the radio station that plays constant holiday music on my way to work in the morning. But that's about it. We slow down, we read an extra Christmas book before bed. We make cookies probably once a week, burn yummy smelling candles, find ways to do nice things for those around us.

This year instead of hitting the gas and going full throttle during the holiday season, what if we all decided to just slow down? What if we take more time for just sitting and reflecting on the year we've had? Instead of all of this build up for one day, what if we just linger a bit, appreciate the shorter days and listen to life buzzing around us. Sometimes it's hard to recognize the magic that's already there if we're too busy trying to create more of it on our own. Life is magic, we don't have to create it, we just have to stop and listen for it.