a holiday oath for the female human race

The holidays are here.  Within just a few days we will all be surrounded by the undeniable presence of Christmas and Thanksgiving and New Year and whatever other holidays you happen to celebrate this time of year.  To me it's a time to slow down, make days special and JOY abundant as we celebrate the fact that God came down to save us.

Sadly, this time of year also seems to bring out the ugliest in some of us.  I've been immersed in social media for enough years now to know that it is coming.  The nasty, judgmental posts and tweets and facebook and IG rants that tear apart someone who dares to celebrate "too much".  Women especially seem to get extra defensive this time of year about what "others" are doing.

In fact, this time last year I was asked to participate in a live discussion on a very popular news network about how my family goes all out to do "elf on the shelf".  I was SO EXCITED.  This network is a huge deal and I felt especially honored to be asked to be a part of it.  Long story short, I didn't get to participate (divine intervention for sure) and the interview ended up being a mom that loves doing the elf versus a panel of people that essentially berated her for twenty minutes because of it.  They called her a show off, said that she was making THEIR lives harder for them and was setting the standards too high for others and that it just wasn't fair.  I watched with my mouth open.  The poor woman (who would have been me) took a good verbal beating.  I was so thankful that God spared me because the ugly cry would have come out. 

Because here is the thing: we have the honor and privilege of living in a FREE world where we can choose to celebrate ANYTHING the way we want to and ONLY the way we want to.  Those people chose to degrade someone else because of their own "perceived" shortcomings.  They were measuring THEIR success with someone elses measuring stick and then beating the person with it.  THAT is what is not fair.

It does not matter one bit what your neighbor is doing for Christmas, or what your sister is making for Thanksgiving.  It does not matter that Mary down the street makes all of her Christmas gifts from clay she digs out of the ground herself or that Sally from work bakes cookies from ingredients she grew herself.  It doesn't matter if Susan buys all of her gifts from Macys/DollarTree/Walmart/Target/yardsales/Goodwill/Etc.  It doesn't matter if the person you share a duplex with celebrates Christmas AND Kwanza.  It doesn't matter if someone does Elf on the shelf year round or not at all.  It doesn't matter if your best friend gives her kids 20 gifts each or none.  Some people choose to work at a soup kitchen for Thanksgiving, some eat all day long, it doesn't matter.  Some people get up at the crack of dawn to go shop like crazy people on Black Friday and some do it all from home, it doesn't matter.

And do we know why it doesn't matter?  Because it is none of our damn business. 

Do you know what it?  What we do.  And only what we do. 

If we let what someone else does effect how WE FEEL about ourselves that has everything to do with ourselves and nothing to do with the other person.  Even if they ARE being a show off (still NONE of our business). 

OK?  I am convinced that we could all have a wonderful, stress-less holiday season if we stop worrying about what everyone else is doing.  If we just take a moment and find our OWN measuring sticks and promise only to use them on ourselves (beating ourselves is necessary when we start to have wandering eyes again). 

Because you know what?  Time spent freaking out over what everyone else is doing is time that is gone from you.  That is less time with your kids, your husband, baking, making, shopping, etc.  And is there a bigger waste of time than that?

So all together now.

Let us take an oath that will help to bring about the best Christmas season ever!!  Ready?

Raise your right hand and repeat after me:

I, (insert your name), promise to mind my own damn business this holiday season.  I promise to focus on bringing JOY to those around me and not judgment.  *I promise to help Mary get those clay stains out of her hands and to help Sally weed her garden in the Spring and tell them both that I am so proud of their hard work.  (*may be changed to suit your needs).  I promise to build others UP this season and not bring them DOWN.  I promise to not compare what I am doing to what others are doing, NO MATTER WHAT.  I promise to think before speaking and think twice as long before acting.  I will keep in mind that words can be very damaging and can easily steal someone elses joy.  I will be confident in my own traditions, expectations and holidays festivities.  I will bless others as far as I am able and be thankful for the opportunity.  I will use my time wisely and not waste it on jealousy or misguided thoughts.  I will make this the best holiday season ever.  

and Amen.

Ok?  Are we ready?  Can we do it?  I totally think we can.  Social media drives the way you steer it!  So steer it good!!

xo






 
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23 comments:

Elizabeth said...

I love this. Jealousy is such a thief of joy and it dramatically impacts those around us! I love the part about building people UP and not DOWN!!

Let's be an example of the light of Christ this year. Let's love and laugh and give and share and sacrifice and share the good news.

nikihas3 said...

This was wonderfully written and something everyone should do. Thank you. I have taken the oath.

Suzanne said...

So true Crystal!! I will take the oath with you. (Though it would be great to live that way all year long!). Hope you and your family have an absolutely lovely holiday season!

Tiff said...

Great post. Seems like adults can be the biggest bullies lately. People who celebrate Christmas need to remember that (like the cliche saying goes) Jesus is the reason for the season... try to emulate Christ.

Tiff

c smith said...

Every year my cousin buys her kids insanely expensive gifts, last year she got her daughter a $500 camera, she also has elaborate Christmas portraits done. I think it's crazy. She thinks I'm nuts because I spend hours decorating gingerbread houses with my kids, and then after a few days they end up in the trash. My kids also do a holiday skit that I insist all visitors to our house endure. My cousin thinks it's corny and embarrassing. We tease each other mercilessly. BUT, we both do what we enjoy and what works for our family and neither of us thinks we are doing it the "right" way. Our teasing is all in love. It's Christmas, people. Share the love!

Bunnyslady said...

Thank you! Thank you so much for writing this post. I agree wholeheartedly in that we spend too much time comparing and tearing each other down. We all do what works for us. The only way to be happy with ourselves is to stop making those terrible comparisons. What happened to the time of celebrating each other?

Stel said...

Yeay for you!
I just wish we could do a little more of our own traditions with my kids - the IL's still stuck in what they did 30 yrs ago...but, I'll sneak in one or two things.
Have a blessed Christmastime!

Susan Jeffries said...

I actaully said this oath out loud this morning! I have been feeling sorry for myself and our daughter lately. She got shafted in the extended family department (many crazies in our families), and she has no siblings (not by our choice). I put up our tree Saturday and it doesn't look perfect, a ton of our stuff was broken when I unpacked it, and my sewing machine broke last night. Poor me;) Then I remembered that I am already rich. My daughter and I are both saved Christians so we are heirs to the kingdom of God. And He could care less what my tree looks like or how many nutty people will grace our home around the holidays. Thank you Jesus for your grace(: Susan

Artsy Matilda said...

Crystal, this is brilliant. When the ugly starts, my husband is fond of reminding me, "what other people think of you is none of your business". Oh how true! Thanks for posting this! And enjoy every minute of family, fun and creativity through the holidays! xoxo

Deanne Crim said...

What a GREAT ARTICLE!!! I'm so with you on all of this...and I'm an all-out glitter-spreading ho-ho-ho-ing holiday loving Messianic Jewish-Christian with heavy gift-making tendencies!! I know it can make people feel inadequate sometimes, but why would that make ME be any less ME then I am?!! If people feel bad, they can give it a whirl, right?!! And if they don't want to, I'm not measuring them anyway, they are measuring THEMSELVES! I refuse to "dumb-down" my talent or generosity or LOVE...because that's where it all comes from...the desire to show love in tangible magical wondrous ways of Holiday Blessings, to the people that matter to me. I am SO UPSET to hear of another generous holiday elf soul, getting attacked for her being involved in magical festivities...it's the ultimate adult bullying!! Shame on them all...surely they are on Santa's NAUGHTY LIST, right?!! XOXO

hsing3kinder said...

Right on! Having grown up with someone who likes to tear down, I appreciate efforts to show love!

Amber said...

Oh my goodness! "with clay she dug out of the ground herself". I am laughing so hard. I personally think this should be an always thing. Let's stop tearing down Mom's for their choices!

Taylor C. said...

Amen! Love this post so very much! You are always such an inspiration Crystal. thank you

Alice G said...

Thank you for always taking the high road on your posts. I needed this one before the start of the Christmas season. I find your attention to what God would have us do very helpful in my daily walk.
Sincerely,
Alie

Lacey Sanders said...

Thank you, very well stated and a wonderful reminder to everyone.

Nancy said...

Thanks for this! I really feel like we, as women, really need to support each other more. We are all doing the best we can. We all have doubts and insecurities, but we don't need to project those feelings in all of its ugliness onto other people.

And remember, when you support Mary and her clay digging or Sally and her homegrown made-from-scratch goodies they often feel like they would like to reciprocate and not only do you get encouragement and support but you get nice clay pots and yummy homemade goodies. What could be better?!

b3designs said...

Sometimes your post really affect me, they move me and my heart. Beautifully written. Well written. This needed to be said. Have a wonderful holiday season.

Janna said...

LOL I love it!!!! You go girl!!! WOW that is just so WRONG on so many levels what that show did to the lady last yr. WOW!!! Happy for you that you weren't able to make it!!

Paige Faulkner said...

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this post! Can't love it enough. Well said!

MulticrafterAmy said...

Great post! Being a crafty girl myself, I can relate. I create and craft because I enjoy it, not to upset others. I celebrate and have started traditions in my family that I enjoy and hope make my childerns memories of home special later. I do those things for me and my family, never to make others jealous or mad.

Redsoxfanzy said...

I just re-read this. Thank you once again!

Redsoxfanzy said...

I just re-read this. A needed reminder of what is important to me. Thank you

The Byron Family said...

a refreshing post! It bugs me deep down to my core when I read all the bahumbug mom posts about elf on the shelf and the moms who LOVE to do it. I am a mom who LOVES to do it! I even have our elf start in mid November I love it so much! Everything is what you make it, and it is so nice to hear an uplifting post about what fun things mom's and dad's chose to do with their family!

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