You are not Martha Stewart. Neither am I. Our Thanksgiving dinners and Christmas mornings do not resemble Norman Rockwell paintings, and that is a good thing.
Women usually have a lot on their plate, especially if they are a military spouse. Even with a loved one half way across the globe, some still worry about having the perfect Pinterest-worthy holiday! Instead of fretting that you’re holidays won’t be good enough, follow these simple steps below.
Identify what matters, and forget the rest. When it comes to the picture perfect idea of a Thanksgiving dinner, what do you see? A brown glistening turkey framed by a beautiful tablescape straight out of Better Homes and Gardens Magazine? All of your loved ones politely sitting together in beautiful holiday outfits? Come on. Let’s be real.
Family, friends, and fun. Even if the holidays mean nothing to you from a religious standpoint, these are what truly matter. Let it be messy. Let it be imperfect. Most of all, let it be enjoyable and YOU.
When your children are grown, they will not look back lovingly to their mom who put them in a tie, and made them stoically pass the gravy. They will look back at a mom who slowed down and gathered all that truly mattered for a truly special holiday.
Give meaning, not stuff. Have you ever received a Yankee Candle from someone who barely knew you? I guarantee that person gave the same candle to every other associate in their life that Christmas. The holidays are a great time to put meaning behind your actions instead of just giving stuff. Sometimes, this can be intimidating (especially for the dudes), but when done right, can mean the world to those receiving it.
In November, help your children bag up all the toys they have not touched in a year. Get them on board and excited about choosing where these toys will be donated. Not only will you be giving your child the experience of meaningful giving, but they will now have more room to store the dozens of gifts they will receive from their grandparents. Trust me, I know.
Give experiences to your loved ones like events they can share with you to create happy memories. Give them long lasting joy by subscribing them to MilSO Box, so that they get to open a treat every month until summer time. Give your time helping the less fortunate. Through volunteering, you will find so much more meaning to the season than you would at a mall.
Revel in tradition. When you look back at your childhood, can you remember your family traditions? What did they mean to you then and now? Studies have shown that strong family traditions help foster a strong sense of security and identity in children. With the constant uprooting inherent in the military lifestyle, this can be an incredible gift to give your family. No matter where you live, your traditions can continue to thrive. If you are looking for great ideas, Military.com has a wonderful list here.
No one is perfect. I am not. I never want to be. However, I rock at being a mom, wife, sister, daughter, aunt, and friend because I focus on what truly matters during the holidays. My family will never see me clearing a tablescape after Thanksgiving dinner, because I’ll be wrestling over a wishbone with my son. My holiday wish, is for YOU to say the same.