Fantasy Friday: holidays without guilt

My husband returned from retrieving the mail and handed me an envelope, clearly a Christmas card.

“Great, another reason to feel guilty,” I said.

He laughed. So did I, even though what I said was true.

Christmas cards make me feel guilty because I don’t send any out.

Christmas gifts make me feel guilty because I struggle to pick them out for my family. And I take this as a sign that I’m not a good daughter/sister/niece because I live so far away.

I don’t think I deserve the Christmas gifts I get. Or the Christmas cards. Because I’m not there for my friends and family in the ways I would like to be.

I feel guilty because I haven’t decorated my house despite having loads of awesome holiday decor sitting in boxes in the closet. I feel guilty because I didn’t take my decorations down until well after New Year’s Day this past year. In a few cases, I just left things up. I had plans to dust some woodwork before I returned my year round decor to the appropriate spots. That never happened.

See how that spiraled out of control? From a kind gesture to self-sabotage in a matter of seconds.

I recognized this as I held the card. The person who sent it was just trying to be nice. And maybe I could appreciate that instead of turning it into an opportunity to be a total jerk to myself.

Because what purpose does feeling guilty serve in this case? None. It doesn’t make me want to send Christmas cards or decorate. It makes me want to withdraw. Ignore the holidays.

And I love the holidays. I’m just trying to figure out how I want to celebrate versus how I think I should celebrate.

At least for this year, this means minimal decor. Luckily, the red string lights are still up in the squirrel alcove. And the holiday cards add a nice festive flair. Thanks to those of you who sent them.

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