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Let it go…

on December 15, 2013

If you are the parent of a small child, chances are you have gone to see the new Disney movie Frozen in the last few weeks.  My daughter has the soundtrack and has been playing and singing the songs non-stop since we saw the movie.  She has even choreographed routines to the songs–which means that some of the songs have been played over twenty times in our house.  To say that in my quiet moments those songs sneak into my head would be a giant understatement.  I can’t get them out of my head.

Which is why the title of this post is what it is.  One of the songs repeats over and over “Let it go” in regards to one of the characters embracing her frosty side.  Those words, while not the same meaning for me, have really resonated in the last week.  With the holidays looming, tons of work projects in process, a bazillion kid related activities, and tons of fun family activities planned, it seems like there is not enough time in the day.  Not to mention the nightly visits from the elf, our 25 days of giving, and even a visit from the tooth fairy thrown in–our plates are pretty full.

Sometimes it can be really hard to get into the moment of life–on a normal day–instead of focusing on what is going to happen next while the thing you are doing is going on.  I am guilty of this more often than I’d like to admit.  We will be in the moment doing some fun outing or activity and my brain is focused three steps ahead on what I need to do to get ready for what happens later or tomorrow instead of really enjoying the here and now.

So, I realized, sometimes I just need to “let it go.”  Though, at times I still find this difficult.  The temptation to be the “perfect” everything is ridiculous and I just need to let it go.

How I’ve let it go in the past week.

1)  Bake sale at daughter’s school.  At first, I just said, I don’t have time for this right now.  I knew I wasn’t going to be able to produce something to the standards of the treats I saw at the last bake sale (we’re talking gourmet goods here in fancy packaging that put my rice krispie treats in sandwich bags to shame).  I didn’t want my baked goods to be stuffed to the back like they were last time and not get sold–I mean what’s the point?  Then, I realized the bake sale was to gather funds for a needy family.  Instant guilt.  So, I thought about what I could realistically handle that was still within my ability and time frame.  So, I bought those pre-cut out cookies with the printed pictures and baked 48 of them, packaged them in festive red and green sandwich bags, and put leftover seals from our Christmas cards on them and called it a day.  I did what I could to support the families in need.  If anyone had issues with what I was able to make-then that’s on them.  Not me.  I just had to let it go.

2)  Ugly sweater day at daughter’s school.  How in the world do you find an “ugly” sweater for a 5 year old girl?  For goodness sake!  I was pretty sure I couldn’t find anything, I didn’t want to spend money on this event, and I didn’t want to alter any of the sweaters she already owns–but I didn’t want her to not be able to participate.  Thank goodness for Pinterest.  I saw on someone’s blog that they had made an ugly skirt instead.  Brilliant.  We had an old skirt that was going to be too small to wear again in the spring, but fit ok now.  I also have a glue gun and a dresser full of craft supplies.  A little imagination and 20 minutes of creation and my daughter had a decorated skirt to wear to school.  She was convinced it wasn’t really “ugly,” so we called it her crazy skirt.  Because I am still a little nuts, the night before I also made a crazy skirt for her elf to wear.  A little felt and craft dresser items, Voila!  Elf skirt.  Both were a success and she received many compliments at school, though they wouldn’t let her be in the ugly sweater picture at school.  Boo!  I knew I couldn’t make the ugly sweater thing happen, but I let it go and went with another frugal and easy option instead.

Our "crazy" skirt...

Our “crazy” skirt…

3)  Christmas shopping.  We usually do Black Friday shopping.  We didn’t this year–we didn’t want to brave the crowds for stuff we didn’t really want and might not even be there when we arrived.  Plus most sales started on Thursday, and we felt it wasn’t right to support companies making workers miss family time on the holiday so others could shop.  We haven’t really done that much in store shopping as parents/family either this year.  Most of my shopping has been done online in the comfort of my jammies from my computer.  So much easier.  I let go the idea that I had to scrounge the stores and sales in person to get thoughtful presents for my family and friends.  Instead, I let my email inbox alert me to offers and took advantage of gift lists from family to search for the just right present.  A few hours of watching tv with the hubby and wrapping presents and that part of the holiday stress is mostly over.  Just waiting on a few more things to arrive.  Yeah!

Our elf even got in on the action...

Our elf even got in on the action…

4)  Plans.  I have tried really hard not to plan every single moment of our free time.  This is an ongoing goal for me.  We are working on having more time at home together and only picking those activities that mean something to us.  There are a ton of free, fun, interesting things going on about town.  We don’t have to do ALL of them.  We have our traditions that we stick to and enjoy, and sometimes all that other stuff just gets in the way making celebrating the holidays less fun.  There are so many things we can do at home that are just as entertaining.  Just let some of that other stuff go!

We did crafts one night at home as a way to spend time together.  I need to make somethings for work colleagues, so kiddo made fun tree pics!

We did crafts one night at home as a way to spend time together. I need to make somethings for work colleagues, so kiddo made fun tree pics!

5)  I can’t do everything for everyone all of the time and remain sane and healthy.  There are times when I have to say no.  (If I write this down, maybe I’ll actually follow that advice.)  It can be incredibly hard to turn down or postpone someone’s needs or requests or what we feel is IMPORTANT!  But, sometimes we just have to let it go and focus on what we find to be most important.

What have you “let go” of this holiday season?


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