Feeling the Pressure of Red and Green.

GreenI remember in my early twenties reading magazines during the holiday season that focused on feeling stressed during the holidays. I just didn’t get it, I mean holidays were for parties, food, booze and getting gifts. However, how quickly the tables have turned and here I am feeling stressed and overwhelmed on December 1st in my early thirties.

All these expectations and responsibilities stacking up one by one like little gifts of frazzled stress under the “mommy Christmas tree”. I’m wearing all these hats of party planner, gift giver, treat maker, volunteer helper, secret Santa, savvy shopper, present wrapper, holiday decorator and hostess with the mostess. Once again giving into the pressure of surviving, keeping up and “jonesing,” rather than relishing in the season of hope, joy and love.

Apparently, cyber Monday and the makers of Stuffies haven’t heard that “Jesus is the reason for the season”. Maybe you don’t believe in Jesus or a higher power, believe me when I say I am not the ideal church goer with my vocabulary and actions sprinkled with words and deeds not found near an altar, but I do believe in there being something more to the holiday season than sales and “Oprah’s Favorite Things”. I do believe in the hope, joy and love that are behind the phrase “Jesus is the reason for the season”.

So if I believe it why am I not living it? Why is it that I am feeling myself torn between being two different mommies? One that teaches that this season is for loving those around and afar, that what makes up memories aren’t the materials that we find in a stocking but in the hand that hangs the stocking or what we feel in our hearts and not in our bellies is what makes up the person we are. The other mommy, eyes with envy at the sight of a cashmere sweater or the neighbors lights, wanting to grant each request of a “Santa Wish List,” Smartphone in hand searching the retail sites for the perfect outfit for my husband’s company party and mouth salivating as I soak in the recipes of the Food Network magazine as I jot down grocery lists to create the perfect table spread.

Ugh, the desire for it all. The wanting of having a full heart and a full closet. Coveting a stuffed fridge and an overflowing sense of joy. The struggle to separate the two wants to make one season really matter. With it being December 1st, I feel better knowing I have 25 chances to get it right, to divide the two mommies and find the right balance that provides my family and I with the joy, hope and love behind the “reason for the season.”

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