I have a confession to make. Over the past several years, I've started to resent the holidays.
Despite my sparkly party dress and bright, cheerful demeanor during the company holiday party, I was numbing out by eating too many gingerbread men in the break room, drinking one too many glasses of champagne and secretly wanting it to be January 1st as quickly as possible.
I'm not proud of it. In fact, I tried to hide my holiday angst beneath my feigned holly jolly exterior, but I just couldn't take it anymore.
I knew I couldn't be the only one feeling this way -- that the holidays were a time to bury frustrations with extended family in a failed attempt to look like a Norman Rockwell painting, and that gifts needed to be perfect. So perfect that I found myself buying cheap, meaningless things and spending more money than I should have one them in an attempt to show my love.
But, here's the thing: I actually love the holidays!
When the red cups start appearing at coffee shops in mid-October, butterflies start to stir in my belly. When the holiday lights go up at department stores, I may roll my eyes, but inside, my heart is secretly going pitter-patter.
I can't wait to have an excuse to turn up the holiday music in my studio, see my neighborhood light up with twinkly lights and binge-watch holiday movies on TV every weekend wearing cozy socks and sipping on peppermint hot chocolate.
As most things do, this excitement traces back to our childhood, when the holidays were a magical, wondrous time of year. Back then, the whole world stopped. School was let out, the adults took time off from work and family traditions brought everyone together. We excitedly exchanged presents with each other (which felt like a miracle all of its own). We dressed up and went to performances. We sang, we danced and were a bright light during the darkest time of the year.
The winter holidays are truly about being a light in the dark. A beacon of celebration and warmth and love for our community.
This is what I felt as a child, and I suspect you did, too.
In all the craze of holiday-themed coffee drinks and jingle bell commercials for large televisions and new cars, what we are truly yearning for is a return to that feeling of celebration, warmth and love that we felt as children.
So this holiday season, join me in pledging to do it differently.
Let's take a pause before giving the stink eye to the lady who cut you in line at the holiday sale at the department store.
Let's make space in our calendar to bring those feelings of joy and celebration into our lives.
Let's bring thoughtfulness and intention to our gift giving, and not feel like we are breaking the bank when we give to our loved ones.
To find out more about how to infuse your holiday gifts with love and meaning, check out Becca's program, A Handmade Holiday.