A Whole New Holiday

Yesterday I ordered my son’s first birthday invitations and sobbed like a schoolgirl. I know it’s cliche but I don’t care — WHERE DID THE TIME GO? This time last year I had a big ole’ bun in the oven. Little did I know then just how quickly 2016 would come and go. What a whirlwind of a year. And now we celebrate a whole new kind of holiday. One that doesn’t involve much glitz or sparkle, a night out on the town or fireworks or fancy dinner. This year, our holiday will be at home.

If you know me, you know how much I love the festivities of the holidays. Getting dressed up is one of my favorites! I love putting on my party shoes, giving gifts and celebrating the season with those I love. But there’s something different this year. It isn’t that I don’t want the glitz and the sparkle — believe me, I do! But it feels right to stay in and tuck our baby into bed, cuddle up on the couch and enjoy some quiet time this holiday. No big vacation to a warm beach somewhere and no big New Year’s Eve plans. Instead, we’re slowing down.

In fact, I think that’s the biggest lesson I’ve learned from 2016: to slow down in the busiest, fastest year of my life.

It’s so easy to get caught up in the everyday. And I definitely fall into that habit too. I worry about schedules, activities, feeds, naps, chores around the house. I worry about checking every single thing off my to-do list before bed and I so often don’t put myself first and take the time I need to relax and recharge. But all that does is make the days fly by. It overshadows the sweet, significant moments I miss in the chaos.

I won’t lie to you. The last year has been beautiful but it’s also been super hard. There have been ups and downs, happy days and sad. But the truth is, I wouldn’t change any bit of it. It’s the story of our 2016 and while I want the toys picked up, the dishes done, the laundry folded — it can all wait. The mail is stacked on the dining room table and our jackets hang for days weeks on the chairs. Does a part of me cringe inside over all of it? Of course. But you know what? I’ve learned to live with clutter. It can wait.

Maybe my new reality is learning to live with the clutter in order to declutter. You get me?

This year, it’s a whole new kind of holiday. I’m making a promise to myself and my family to slow down. I’m trading in my sparkly dress for pjs and slippers. And I’ll dance with my baby in our living room instead of swinging around the dance floor in some swanky bar. I’m going to go to sleep without fluffing the couch pillows beforehand or making sure all the toys are perfectly tucked away in the toy bin. I’m going to reflect on the meaningful moments that have so quickly breezed by in 2016. I’m going to hang my scarf and stay a while.

I’m still working on my New Year’s resolutions for the coming year (have you thought about yours yet?) and will dive deeper into that in the coming weeks. But I think slowing down for now is a solid start. No promises on trading in my champagne though… that would just take things too far.

Happy holidays!

Photography by Creative Clicks Photography