I’m writing this post at work on my lunch break. Because it’s December, ladies, and that means one thing for me: I need to make this the best holiday season ever.
No one told me this was expected of me, or even mentioned it in passing. My mom wasn’t obsessive when I was younger, even though my childhood Christmases were consistently amazing. And my husband isn’t needy or demanding; he actually doesn’t like most of the cliché Christmas stuff because so much of it isn’t really indicative of anything that Christmas is actually about, but that’s another story. I have all these things in my mind that simply must happen, and if they don’t, well…there goes Christmas. Or so I think.
I’ve cried over the last five Christmas commercials I’ve seen. But not the good, warm-and-fuzzy cry that I get with Thanksgiving commercials. I’ll tell you a secret: it was the ugly cry. Every time. Because I’m so sad that Target can effortlessly convince me that my family won’t be happy or feel loved unless I can get all the presents they want, presents they didn’t even know they wanted, presents they didn’t even know existed. But they need them, the television tells me – if you want them to feel loved, better yet, if you want them to love you when this is all over, you’d better get those presents, Laura!
Maybe I’m alone in this, this huge pressure that makes me hyper-sensitive, sends my list-making into overdrive, frustrates my husband with the amount of money I want to spend on him, and my parents, and my sisters, and my friends.
I hope for the sake of women everywhere that I’m not the norm—that you, lovely reader, are well-adjusted and stronger than society’s blaring commercials and bright shiny billboards.
But I don’t think I’m alone. I think we want to make the people closest to us happy and comfortable, we want them to feel treasured, we want to look back on this holiday years from now and have only the best memories.
And, honestly, I think that’s admirable, right? I want this season to be special. There isn’t much wrong with that statement.
But the things I think I need to do—I feel like that is where my pretty plan goes awry. I don’t have an endless amount of money for presents or decorations. I’m a preschool teacher, for Pete’s sake! I don’t have the time to cover my home in tinsel and holly and beautiful little flickering lights—at least not where I am in life right now.
So that’s where I am. Angry-weeping over commercials and stressing out about the decorations I don’t have and the side dishes or desserts I have to bring to this event or that one. I’m just thankful for the One who knows my heart, knows my intentions, and can whisper peace over me. He is so faithful, and He can redeem my plans.
He can redeem yours, too.
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Laura Hyers is a Tampa native, writer, and the newly wed wife of musician Caleb. She recently graduated from the University of South Florida with a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a concentration in literature and is currently teaching preschool. When not chasing a class of two-year-olds, Laura is writing and fighting fierce bouts of wanderlust. She loves music, reading, being near the ocean, and dreaming big over huge cups of coffee with her best friend Lakin. Laura blogs at http://littlebirdmarie.wordpress.com.
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