I am speaking soothingly these days into my own ears: "No, no, shhhhhhh, it's fine, you ALWAYS think there's too much to do before Christmas, and it ALWAYS works out JUST FINE."
A soothing mantra, I've found, is "No one really cares." I used this most recently to help me dial back the perfectionism with the Christmas cards this year: I genuinely enjoy sending them so I don't WANT to skip them (I know I COULD skip, but I don't WANT to), but it absolutely works to write "Love, Swistle" and call it a day. No one really cares; no one will say, "Awww, but she usually writes 'Happy holidays and a very happy New Year!' first, and then writes the names of all seven family members! How are we going to have a happy holiday/year without Swistle WRITING that we should have one?"
And just because I OWN tons of cute gift wrap and ribbons and gift tags doesn't mean I have to USE them. Some years it's fun to do that, making a pretty assortment of wrappings under the tree and figuring out interesting combinations of coordinating/contrasting ribbon/tags. Other years I want to use a roll of gift wrap until it's gone, and then start on the next one and use IT until IT is gone, and I want to use a sharpie to write to/from on everything. No one really cares which way I do it. No one will say, "Awww, last year my three presents were in three different papers! This year they're all in the SAME paper! Christmas is RUINED!"
And it would be NICE if I had each of the three younger
children make cards for their teachers. It would be NICE if I made the
little plates of treats for the mail carrier and our neighbors. It would be NICE if I got some extra snapshots printed to send with the card to my great-aunt. It would be NICE if I arranged a gingerbread-house-making activity. But I'm
not going to this year, and no one will deep-down care.
(This would be the opposite of soothing on the years that I am getting everything done.)
Life-improving products, part 4 - (Continued from part 1, part 2, and part 3.) Stearns Youth Life Vest (photo from Amazon.com). I’d been too scared to take the kids to any body of water oth...