Off we go, into Advent and Christmas! If you’re a mother, you’re probably in charge of setting the tone for the entire family for the next month or so, and it probably feels like a gargantuan job. Here are a few things I’ve learned, that help me keep things in proportion.
Nobody is doing everything. If you read a lot of lifestyle magazines and websites or if you go on social media, especially if you are a member of a lot of women’s groups, your feed at this time of year will become an overwhelming parade of gorgeous, meaningful, liturgically appropriate practices and traditions. Foods you can make, prayers you can pray, special events you can plan or attend, presents you can craft, decorations you can arrange, songs you can sing, stories you can read, and all manner of fragrant and illuminated and sparkly and reverent and crafty and fulfilling ideas.
You must firmly tell yourself: This is the work of a CROWD. Nobody is doing all of this. Most people are doing a few things, and when you put it all together, it’s a lot. That’s what you’re seeing. If you look at your individual efforts and match it against what you’re seeing, of course it’s going to look paltry, because you’re just one person.
There are a few people who are doing a lot of things, and hooray for them, but they truly do not win any prizes for this. If you are doing anything at all to mark Advent and Christmas as a season that is different from the rest of the year — even if you’re just making sure you get the family to confession sometime before Christmas! — then you are doing it right. Light a candle and call it good. Nobody is doing everything.