Why Does Everything Have To Be So Special?!

Why does everything have to be so special Am I the only one starting to think why does everything have to be so special?!

Seriously. Suddenly going through life or celebrating any holiday as a parent means you are supposed to provide your child with EVERY. SINGLE. TRADITION. OF. EVERYONE.

And we get this idea from social media like Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram.

Let me preface this with: I’m not anti-social media. Heck, it is kind of how my business and blog works, so I kind of love social media. I think creators of blog and social media content are kind of amazing. All those beautiful images we scroll through quickly on Pinterest were painstakingly created by individuals. I know a little bit about what kind of time and effort it takes to create that content. So, the woman who finds joy in going over-the-top and creating a “Pinterest-worthy party”, more power to her! Any peer pressure to measure up to that is not her fault, she is not pressuring you or me to do that. So, why do we sometimes feel that pressure? THAT problem is what I want to talk about. It is pervasive and causing almost every mom I know to be doubled over with stress right now in this season of joy.

Before social media (not a time I want to go back to, but let’s visit for a moment), you had your special family traditions passed down by experiencing them yourself or you heard about other traditions or sometimes created your own. You had your traditions, other people had theirs, and the only comparisons and one-upping happened within your close circle of friends and family. Other people didn’t even know what your traditions were like, every detail of how your family celebrated Christmas in December, or what your child’s birthday party looked like. And likewise, you didn’t really know what people outside your circle were doing.

Present day we still have the traditions we chose to keep from growing up, plus some we borrow from friends and new family, plus everyone else’s we see on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest. The pressure to keep up never lets off. We feel guilt that our kids are missing out on things their peers get to enjoy. We want our kids to have it all, isn’t that why we work so hard?

What happens to a child when they are entertained every second? They expect to be entertained and don’t learn how to deal with boredom.

What happens to kids that get everything their peers have? They will expect life to be fair like that forever. And as an adult, when they see their coworker get a promotion or a friend go on an exciting vacation, they are going to fall apart because it just isn’t fair.

What happens when every day of October they get to eat candy? Their actual Halloween candy isn’t so special. This actually happened to my kids this year! We had so many parties in October – school, church, friend, clubs, work, and more – that when they got their actual Halloween candy from the “main event” of trick-or-treating, it just wasn’t as special.

And Christmas, oh Christmas. It seems like the hardest time of all for trying to keep up. Are we supposed to make every day of December a mini-Christmas day? Are we supposed to give our kids gifts on December first? Is this a new holiday?! {Honestly I think that Christmas is still special for most kids, maybe a little less special if it was truly the “main event”, but probably fine really. So, I’m going to go back to the original message.} All the Christmas stuff may be fine and wonderful for the kids, but if it is causing moms to lose their Christmas joy, it really doesn’t have to be that way!

Our kids won’t remember all of the tiny details. And all those details doesn’t change what they think about us. Kids love their parents unconditionally. But, if we stretch ourselves so thin that we are worn out and ragged, and so we nip and nag at them, they will remember how that makes them feel. Kids feel magic from way less than we think. The magic of childhood is simple joys! 

Right now the norm is to take on more and more extra holiday traditions and tasks on top of our already overwhelming lives. Instead of life slowing down to enjoy the holidays, now it feels like the pace in every part of life picks up AND we are supposed to add on more little things than ever. The reason I keep it together is because I don’t try to do everything. I don’t discuss what I don’t do, other people usually don’t either. If a slow down doesn’t happen naturally to allow for more family traditions, I force a slow down by making fewer commitments and not taking on extra responsibilities.

Choose Joy Everyone gets to pick and choose how we are going to make life and holidays special for our families. Look at the ideas on social media for what they are: ideas. Don’t look at Pinterest as a personal to do list. I am in awe of moms who spend 10+ hours a week making their elf on the shelf do magical things. I enjoy seeing my friends’ creatively place their elves each day. Still, Elf on the shelf isn’t my thing and I don’t feel bad about it. It wouldn’t be fun for me and it would be stressful to try to keep up with that in addition to the other things I want to do.

I’ve given myself permission to pick and choose. I’ve given myself permission to not overload this beautiful season. I’ve given myself permission to choose joy over stress. My husband and I have picked traditions that are mutually beneficial for us and the kids. That is enough.

I invite you to join me and all the other moms who don’t do everything and feel just fine about it. Being selective about how we use our time is not slacking.

So if you find yourself asking Why does everything have to be so special?, just know that it doesn’t. There isn’t a definitive answer for when you should say yes and no, but it is definitive that sometimes you should say no.

Many blessings to you for a peaceful and joyful Christmas season!

Like Mary Organizes on Facebook and Subscribe to get emails of all our posts (on the sidebar)!

ps) With all this said, it annoys me when I hear people complain about what someone else is doing. Let them do their thing. You don’t know how each of those things brings them or their family joy. Just be happy for them! But if your good friend looks like she is running on fumes and can barely keep up, remind her it is okay to just NOT do some things on her list.

pss) Trust me, you want to read this article “To the Mamas of Littles during the Holidays”.

18 thoughts on “Why Does Everything Have To Be So Special?!

  1. So here is a thought, I was going through some letters written in the 40’s from my great grandmother to my grandfather who at the time was on a Navy ship and she was sharing with him who came over for Christmas etc.. She told him about her Christmas and I was surprised to read what that looked like these were very middle class people and she shared that she got a jewelry box from my great grandfather and a pair of gloves and a brush and comb set from her sister and some handkerchiefs from her daughter and she thanked my grandfather for the container of what we now call almond Roca. That was her entire Christmas! Think of what we buy and what we expect! What media makes you think you should be getting LOL!

  2. An awesome post and full of encouraging advice. To make the decision to just be you and do what you think it is, gives us permission to say, “it’s okay”. Thank you for sharing.

  3. A friend of mine gives her kids, one Santa gift, and three gifts from the parents. The girls are encouraged to make gifts for each other and the parents. It’s not about money she just wants them to learn and care for the things they are given.

  4. The ideas are a pool to pick from. You don’t drink ALL the kool-aid. You choose which ones work for you. It’s like looking at a catalog and thinking you have to buy EVERYTHING.

    Not so.
    Use discretion. And stop thinking you have to do it ‘all’!

  5. Thank you! I completely agree. I am trying to focus on being in the moment and
    enjoying my children, instead of being overwhelmed with guilt by feeling that I
    should be going above and beyond. My strengths are not “Pin-worthy”. Also, I am teaching my children the gift of giving to less fortunate children during this Holiday season. That is my tradition.

  6. Thank you! I don’t have kids but it’s true! It’s also not just kids… Heck- just the simplicity of giving my husband a stocking was one-upped by a person at work a few years ago. I was aiming for simplicity and they had to brag what dollar limit they put on filling a simple stocking. I grew up in the fading era (I’m not 40 yet) of when a big orange was the highlight of my stocking. That, and a half dollar or a 2 dollar bill and some pretty Avon pendant (I still have them), maybe one of those LifeSaver bundles and a few other odd things… (probably why I don’t care for Lifesavers) lol I don’t remember much else but those few things. Everything now is in excess it seems. Celebrating every milestone with massive in your face acknowledgement. I miss simple. Plain and simple.

    1. I couldn’t agree more. I’ve been practicing less is more this holiday season and as I get ready for Christmas this week, I actually feel more calm and ready. Simplicity is so nice!

  7. Oh everybody, please don’t take the joy out of Christmas. Allow each person to celebrate the way they choose to. If they like plain and simple, good! If they like extravagant, good for them as well. Don’t look at how anybody else celebrates and make comparisons to yourself. I have nine (9) Christmas trees in my house and I love to give gifts. I start shopping the day after Christmas and shop throughout the year. I did this as a child with my Mom and continue to do it. Nobody requires or expects me to do it. I do it because I love the holiday season. I also give to the needy and try to make everybody happy. My mother passed on last year and I continue with the traditions that I love. I have friends that do very little for Christmas and they are just as happy and enjoy the season just as much as I do . Let’s just pray for peace and happiness for everyone for the Holiday season and not get twisted up into how it should be celebrated. Leave that to the individual. Happy New Year to you all!!!!!!!!!

    1. I agree. No one should read this post and feel criticized for celebrating however they want (at least that is not what I intended). My message is that if you feel overwhelmed and like you “have to” do things, even when they don’t bring you joy, let go of the guilt of that “have to” feeling. However extravagant or simple you spend your holiday, just make it meaningful, not stressful to you.

      1. Though I miss my mother terribly, I did manage to continue our traditions and have a Great Holiday. There was NO stress, no “have to” feelings and me and my 9 Christmas trees, (ranging from 12 ft. to 4ft.) can’t wait for the Holiday season to return next year. Have a great New Year.

Leave a comment! I love to hear what you think!