The Internet Isn’t the Boss of my Christmas

For someone who has taken away her family’s electronic devices  for weeks at a time, I spend a lot of time online. I have spent my fair share of time scrolling through Facebook, seeing what my peeps are up this holiday season (your highlight reels rock my world) or getting sucked into the vortex of Pinterest, pinning all the things that I will never do to boards with titles such as “When I have Time” and “Christmas Dreams”.

But with all it’s glitz, and glamour (and now a boat load of people weighing in on what you should or shouldn’t do this Christmas), the internet is also the great deceiver. It has taken me a few years to realize that I don’t have to do ALL THE THINGS. And also that I don’t have to stop doing ALL THE THINGS. The internet isn’t the boss of my life or my Christmas. I am in charge. And in embracing this this year I have been able to breath a huge sigh of relief.

Letting go of the things has resulted in about 90% less holiday stress. Somehow, I found time to do things that other years seemed impossible. I already put up a tree before Christmas Eve, have presents bought and wrapped, cookies made, and a Christmas card ordered. At first, I thought having all these things done was responsible for bringing me this feeling of peace. But I was wrong. It is not having these things done that brings me peace, but it is because I feel peaceful that I have been able to get these things done.

Here it is people, I have found my groove and it has largely come from ignoring the hype, the controversy, and the agenda of the online world. I have set aside Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram and all those fabulous “last minute deals” emails I used to have to click through. It’s just all washing over me without sinking in. I’m choosing to spend significantly less time paralyzed by what the internet is telling me I should (or shouldn’t) do. My tree looks like it was decorated by kids, I did my own thing with gifts, my cookies are the old stand-bys I can make by heart and (full disclosure) my sister did my Christmas card. I started this season by deciding which few things matter for us this year and I am only focusing on these (many involve me sitting more…I’m so happy). Ignoring the internet has freed me up to NOT CARE.

kid-tree-better-size

Not caring actually rocks. I’m happy with my own groove so therefore I’m not busy running around like a crazy person taking yet another trip to the mall. I’m not looking online thinking things like, dang my elf on the shelf could be more fun. That family did x, y and z, my own kids are so missing out. Look at all those presents, we should have more. They are so minimalist we should have less. There is no more comparing.

My choices are good for me and your choices are good for you. And these things can safely be different. There is no should or shouldn’t in Christmas. If you have no Santa or a million presents or 40 elves on your shelves that show up in rotation my hat is off to you. Do your thing people and find your joy. And seeing your joy is the only thing that increases mine. Competing with your joy is a joy stealer, and we know there is no time for that.

Because I am a Christian, I used that as my filter for my Christmas this year (so obvious right?). And it came down to this for me, God didn’t send his only son into our world so I could run around like a crazy person trying to even out gifts under the tree. He came in a manger so our worship can be simple. I love my kids, they know they are loved and I’m going to send a little Christmas magic their way and try to point them toward Christ in simple ways. That works for us. But, if an awesome Pinterest perfect decorated house makes your Christmas heart fill with joy, adds to your magic and helps your worship knock yourself out. God created you to be you and you can’t be you in anyway that is less than perfect.

If you still have that little voice telling you to do more and do it better, please know that you’ve got this. Listen instead to your heart. What will really bring your family joy this year? What will bring joy to the world? How can you honor the simplicity of the manger scene through your celebrations? Or how can you go big to show God how much you appreciate the gift of his son? Or how can you find your place somewhere in between? And then go find your peace of the season.

Holidays! (4)

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Amy

12 Comments

  1. Angela Balensiefen on December 19, 2015 at 3:04 pm

    As always, you nailed it on the head!! I am so glad you have found your peace this holiday season! I am quite proud of my small list of must dos and that’s what we are sticking to as well and not getting sucked into the vortex of the prettiest and busiest of Christmas’ ever! Merry Christmas to your beautiful family!
    Angela

    • Amy on December 19, 2015 at 3:07 pm

      Thanks so much! Here’s to not getting sucked into the vortex! Merry Christmas to you and yours…thanks for reading. 🙂

  2. Linda on December 19, 2015 at 5:32 pm

    Thanks Amy! The trurthful words you have written clearly resonate with me. May your Christmas be overflowing with joy and peace!

    • Amy on December 19, 2015 at 5:36 pm

      Thank you so much! Yours too!!

  3. Jen on December 20, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    I love this. So true! Thanks for writing it so eloquently!!

    • Amy on December 20, 2015 at 5:44 pm

      Thanks so much Jen!

  4. Lori C on December 20, 2015 at 2:29 pm

    LOVE!! I had a similar “epiphany” yesterday sometime during hour 4, in city #2, of Christmas shopping. My feet are killing me and yet I push on, scouring for more gifts and it hits me…this isn’t what Christmas is suppose to be about. Do my kids even know why we have Christmas? Do they know the real gifts we’re given everyday? Nope. Definitely time to reevaluate “gift giving” around here.

    • Amy on December 20, 2015 at 5:43 pm

      Yup…I’ve so been there. At one point I’m pretty sure I created people who thought their Christmas list is the same thing as putting in an Amazon order. We really downplayed gifts this year so here’s hoping! I will say that one strange twist in downplaying is that this is the first year where all of my kids have shopped or made gifts for each other without us asking or telling them they should. I’m not sure why this is but I’m not asking too many questions! 🙂 Hang in there mama and put up those aching feet!

  5. Dana on December 20, 2015 at 10:15 pm

    Amen sista friend! This has been a season of comparison for me, and your words really resonate. Sometimes, it’s like I can almost hear God saying, “Just be Dana. I designed you as you are and the fact that you dislike crafting will not lead your children to a life of scarcity and rebellion.” Seriously, it’s ridiculous what I’m capable of convincing myself of when I’m not feeling grounded and secure in who He’s designed me to be. Thank you for the wonderful reminder! I needed it.

    • Amy on December 21, 2015 at 1:54 am

      Yes! Exactly…no crafting necessary. They will survive!:-) You just keep on being YOU and that my friend is pretty darn inspirational, I’ll remind you anytime! Thanks so much for reading!

  6. Molly on December 22, 2015 at 12:36 am

    Thank you. This is for me the first year I have actually just enjoyed each day of ths Christmas season. I actually enjoyed wrapping the gifts and added curly ribbon! Our tree is up and Ed wanted LED lights so we went with the flow. No, I still like traditional lights but for this year, oh well. Secret Santa at wirk was fun because we set a small limit and got creative and frugal. I embraced my cat in hats photo love and didn’t care that my family and friends think I am a crazy cat lady. I have overlooked the way my house resembles either Horders orDoomsday Preppers. I embraced and enjoyed a few important things as opposed to trying to do everything and have made memories with the kids. And I still have the Midtvedt Christmas to leave ok forward to! Yay! Can’t wait to see you guys on the eve of the celebration of Jesus’s birth. Love you!

    • Amy on December 22, 2015 at 2:58 pm

      Yes! Looking forward to seeing you guys too! Go us! Love to you all and travel safely.

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