Permission to Finish Softly.

It is one week from Christmas, yes SEVEN days from that wonderful, blessed day where we celebrate the birth of Christ and maybe a merry elf who loves to leave our favorites under the tree.  My shopping list is still quite long and after the last three weeks which included a root canal, food poisoning and every person in this house sick with this cold that seems to be EVERYWHERE, the to-do’s before Christmas arrives feel endless.

As I take a break and scroll through the social media platform of choice, I am seeing so much “hustle mama,” “you got this,” and “finish strong” all over the place.  From fancy wrapping paper hacks to reminder to move an elf – it seems as though even a quick scroll only adds to one’s holiday to-do’s.

I am a lover of family traditions that we do together, from baking, to making Christmas gifts and garlands, I love being creative and getting the kids involved. I enjoy color coordinating my gift wrapping, making sure Santa’s cookies are home baked and delivering goodies to friends and family. I really like getting stuff done and feeling accomplished. This year though, this year that has been trying, busy and at times over whelming – I am not trying to “finish strong.” I am not trying to end the year with a huge bang, get it all done kind of attitude. Instead, I am giving myself permission to “finish softly.”

Finishing softly by not making ALL the Christmas things; I have strung dried orange garland wound up in a bowl because we have not had time to buy the garland to hang with it. I have stockings in a blue storage bin parked at the bottom of the stairs waiting to be hung because we ran out of command strips. I have all the ingredients to unbaked cookies on my counters waiting to be darling little cookie trees with the softest butter cream icing ever. There are Amazon, Walmart and Target boxes all stacked, unopened and unwrapped filled from Black Friday and Cyber Monday hauls for Christmas gifting, just waiting to be sorted, wrapped, and set.

There are kids’ toys, books, and clothes that I want to sort through before all the new comes in from Christmas. New items that will overwhelm already bursting drawers, filled toy bins and piled high bookshelves. It will not all get done before Christmas, and likely not all before 2023. But I am giving myself the “okay” to go easy. Taking the time to read, snuggle all up with kiddos and blankets and watch movies, enjoy hot cocoa, and go looking for Christmas lights – the Christmas to-dos will keep.

Finishing this year softly by going into this week of homeschool lightly, not feeling pressure to get all the homeschool Christmas lessons done – just getting something in each day. Reading the Nutcracker together, baking for fun, not perfection, and laughing to Alexa’s Christmas jokes together. Making hot tea and enjoy sleepy mornings with warm scones from the oven. Breaking out the Kiwi Crate and craft some fun gifts for giving. Calling a neighbor or friend to say Merry Christmas and ask how they are doing. Going softly with my family, not rushing, pushing, and trying to finish this year in anyway but gently.

Finishing soft by taking time for rest.  Sacred rest.  Saying no to the good things so I can say yes to the best things in my life.  Not adding anything more to a to-do list that will already remain incomplete for the new few weeks.  Going to bed in good timing, resting with my love and staying connected during the hustle and bustle around us.  Closing the door, shutting the blinds, and taking time to breathe, pray and restore.  Going easy into the season of giving by giving myself permission to go gently and be intentional.

It is hard to go easy, it feels like mom culture around me says “first, biggest, most!” or “more, better, everything.” For me this year, these next few weeks, I do not want to end this year with some huge finale or crescendo, I want it to slowly melt into 2023. Gently roll into the new year with revival on my heart, restoration in my soul and go softly. Mama, if this season is getting to be over whelming – give yourself permission to finish softly. We are world changers, but let’s aim for micro changes that are a balm to the weariness of our souls. Less hustle and go softly.

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