This year I noticed so many lighted trees through windows before Thanksgiving. It’s like the uncertainty and worry of 2020 had us all craving that which is nostalgic, familiar and HAPPY and we couldn’t have it soon enough. Making merry always calls for overtime – especially for those of us with Complex ADHDer’s who are on hyperdrive in December between heightened school demands and all the festivities. But THIS holiday season can definitely feel like a major drain due to altered family traditions, cancelled events and the stress of keeping everyone healthy. Is it even the holidays if it doesn’t FEEL like it?
Six years ago, after decking the halls to the hilt and prepping perfectly to welcome loads of extended family for a Christmas stay I started feeling not so great. Just hours before their cars pulled up in the drive I sat in the doc’s office and heard him say “You have the flu and need to quarantine in your room for the next five days.” I was really foggy but I knew that math wasn’t adding up because he was basically telling me I HAD TO MISS CHRISTMAS THAT YEAR. It couldn’t be true, because I’m the queen of making merry and everyone had matching pj’s and I had everything perfectly planned out. Well, except for getting the flu.
It was that Christmas that I realized something that is coming in REALLY handy for this crazy, weird, not quite right, 2020 version of the holidays. Laying in bed alone for all those days, hearing the merry hoopla unfold without me just outside my bedroom door, I learned that Christmas is actually perfect all on its own. My menu didn’t matter nor did a perfect place setting. The kids getting along and actually behaving didn’t either. None of the things that I’d worked so hard on to make for a “perfect Christmas” had ANY bearing. Christmas actually stands alone. It needs zero from us.
My faith reminded me that Christmas is the celebration of the greatest gift given to mankind in the arrival of Jesus. Whether my turkey emerges from the oven golden brown or charcoal black – nothing can change that glorious fact. I was also reminded that the joy we have in our hearts for each other can fuel the merry. That joy doesn’t have to evaporate because of circumstance because NOTHING can take away the ties that bind. And there’s also the magic of years gone by because memories are everything and it’s amazing how the past really does seep into the present when we let it.
So if you feel like 2020’s draining you this holiday season because it is SO EXTRA and and it’s demanding so much more than you feel you have to give – it’s all good. Rely on the beauty and truth of your own family’s belief’s and traditions to carry you through. I promise they’re strong enough. So if your tree is only half up, and you have twelve teacher emails on missed assignments from your ADHDer and your extended family is staying away due to Covid – just keep moving along. Do what you’re able and don’t let anything steal your joy.
We’d love to hear about your family traditions and how you might be adapting them to accommodate the 2020 factor this year. We know you’re working extra hard to make all the things happen! We see you and we are cheering you on!