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!!



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