The Problem with Bucket Lists

We’ve all seen the lists…

100 Things To Do with Your Kids this Winter!

Don’t miss these 25 Holiday Events!

The 10 best indoor activities for kids!

Ultimate Holiday Fun for the Family!

Are you feeling overwhelmed yet?

I don’t know about you, but I interpret this type of content as just another unnecessary standard against which I am to be evaluated as a mother. Is that too harsh?  Perhaps I am being defensive.  Maybe, but I can’t deny the heart palpitations that begin when I scroll through my social media feed and see post after post of this kind.  More sources of needless mom guilt for failing to measure up to someone else’s expectations.  Do we need more Christmas spirit in the form of hand piped homemade sugar cookies?  Is our elf too lazy and uncreative?  Should we build our own sleds and drive to the best sledding hill in the state?  (The answer to all these questions, by the way, is a resounding ‘no’.)  Although I’m not immune, I ignore and unfollow the noise as efficiently as possible, but it is easy to feel like your celebrations and activities don’t measure up.

This sentiment I describe is true all year long, but it is particularly genuine during this time of year when we are establishing our holiday traditions. Look, the fact is, we only 18 Christmases before our kids, more or less, on their own.  The window to impress the magic of the season upon them narrows with each passing year – clearly, I already feel the pressure without a festive blog article hanging over my head.  We should not spend this time rushing around to complete a checklist someone else created, but instead, finding what brings you, as a unique family unit, joy.  Make a list of those things.  Check each one off.

Right now, we keep things pretty simple and for us this means:

  • Cutting down our Christmas tree at a local farm a mile from our house
  • Visiting the wonderfully, authentic Santa in Hartford’s Bushnell Park
  • The boys and Matt attending the Trans-Siberian Orchestra concert while the girls go to the Nutcracker
  • Chocolate from our Advent calendars and new Christmas books before bed
  • Family photos and Christmas cards to those near and far
  • Hosting Christmas Eve at our home
  • Leaving Santa and his crew cookies, milk, carrots
  • Christmas pjs
  • Gifts from Santa AND Mom and Dad

Nothing has contributed more to my happiness than knowing what is important to me and making sure I live my life in line with my priorities. I remind myself of this as we head into a new year and strive to live by this philosophy as a family.  As I’ve said before, I live for a good to-do list that keeps me accountable, but I’ll skip these bucket lists thankyouverymuch.  I’d rather focus on what works for my family and making the most of the time we have together no matter how it measures up.

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