I am going to reveal the “reality” of my not so perfect holiday season with the hope if your holiday season was not all you wanted it to be, that this will encouraged you to know you are not the only one who struggled to get through a less than perfect Christmas season.
“Revelation and reality gives us the strength to conquer the messiness of life. ” HD Benson
We often times find ourselves comparing our lives to the perfection of the lives we see around us. When we watch Hallmark movies, we see everything is perfectly decorated and all the homemade Christmas treats are perfectly made and decorated. Then there is the perfection we see on FaceBook and on Instagram posts.
My Friend, this is not a reality. Do not compare your life to what you see in others. They only show you what they want you to see. They do not show you what is real and messy.
Now, I am going to show you my real and my messy with the hopes of encouraging you if yours looked anything like mine, it is okay because we all survived and got through another holiday season.
This week has been a week where I found myself in need of rest from an incredibly exhausting past few weeks and a grueling holiday season.
Once we finished with Thanksgiving, I decided to help my daughter who was extremely sick, finish her college semester in school. As her mom, who knows all she had gone through with her health and watched her struggle with pain and sickness for two straight months, I could not watch her fall into a pit of darkness and failure.
Instead, I put on my cheerleading clothes and drug out the pompoms and went to town. She was in desperate need of encouragement and strength and “mom” support, which I did for her. I stopped everything Christmas, stayed up late with her, got up early and she finished. She not only finished, but she finished with amazing grades. I am super proud of her for what she achieved in her first semester of college. I am praying for her health becomes better managed and her semester to come, is a much better one for her.
Once she finished her last class, it was time to jump back into Christmas mode, which I had avoided to give her everything she needed to get through this semester. I avoided the calendar to see how close we were getting to Christmas. I did everything possible to remain stress-free to keep my family happy and grounded during this crazy holiday season. However, when it was all done and I looked at the calendar, it was not pretty. I had one week to get five weeks worth of work done. I had to shop (as I had not bought one gift for anyone). I had to make the gifts we were giving away and I had not baked my first Christmas dessert yet. I told myself I had to do all of this with the minimalist amount of stress to keep the holiday cheer in my house.
What I have not mentioned was the really bad cold my daughter had, went through all of us. I had to take her to the doctor twice, my husband twice and the night of his first Emergency Room visit, I ran a fever that night and I ended up catching it as well and became extremely sick, but I fought my way through it to make Christmas happen.
With the strength God gave me and with His guidance to get through it all, I finished everything at 11:40 on Christmas Eve. It was all done and I could breathe again.
I wish I could say this all happened with no stress, but I can not. I did, however, make every effort of minimalizing it and that I feel like I accomplished it. I also have to confess that I was only able to pull off the first five days because my doctor put me on steroids as well as a steroid injection and an inhaler which enabled me to get a lot done because I do not handle steroids and sleep.
As a result of the steroids, I did begin to feel better and they gave me the extra energy that I needed to finish Christmas in time, but the exhausted crash that came afterward has been horrible. I needed this week to just rest and sleep to get caught back up.
This is the “real” and the raw of how my holidays went this year. I am, however, extremely thankful to hear back from not only my family but from my mom as well, that this was one of our best Christmas’s we have had in a long time.
Despite the sacrifices I made early on to help my daughter, they paid off in the end. It was not a traditional holiday season for me, but it came together in the very end and thankfully it all turned out well.
My friend, it does not matter how yours looked, whether it was wrought with challenges or it went smoothly, all that matters is that you tried and it is all done now for another year.
Now I will wish you all Happy New Year. It is my prayer this coming year will be one of peace and joy, changes if you are in need of them and the grace to accept everything that comes your way.