It’s that time of year mamas, the time of year where we burn ourselves out making meaningful memories, delicious creative treats for all the school parties, beautiful crafts and decorations for our children and our homes, and we set Pinterest on fire with our attempts to be all and do all and make it gorgeous.

I just can’t this year.
Just thinking about it has me overwhelmed and anxious.

For years I have fought to make the holidays more...I have forced events on my family, I have forced crafts on my children, and I have lost myself in the striving to make every moment memorable and lovely and Instagram worthy and this year I am waving my white flag.

Don’t misunderstand me, I love the idea of intention surrounding the chaotic holiday season. I love having traditions and making memories, these things are important. What I do not love is filling every day with something “special,” I do not love what I have allowed the holidays to become in my home.

So, this year I say NO MORE.

I want to enjoy my children this year, I want us to make memories that do not include me sweating and swearing in an attempt to make everything thrilling. I don’t want to spend hours on a surprise to have my children complain and be ungrateful. I want our holidays to be completely spontaneous and organic this year and if that means we do nothing, then I am okay with that.  If that means we turn a car ride home into a light finding mission that would be amazing. I resign my title as the enforcer of mandatory fun and meaning this year.

Who knows maybe it will be terrible OR maybe it will be awesome. Maybe my kids will come up with ideas and plans that are greater than mine ever were. Maybe we will sit around and read our Bibles just because it feels right, not because I said we had to. Maybe we will all enjoy a Christmas movie and popcorn without tears because I picked the wrong one. Maybe the snowball fight outside will last twice as long if it’s started as we unload from the car, instead of by me pushing everyone out the door to play. Who knows?

Maybe you have lots of plans for your family this year and if you do I am happy for you, I hope it goes well and fills you with love and memories that you cherish. Maybe you are like me and you are in a hot panic filled with traumatic memories of your past few years. If you are, then you are not alone, and here's your permission to say no this year.  

Let’s remember why the holidays are magical and memorable, it’s because of Christ. It’s because of abundant blessings, it’s because of love and family. Let’s not get lost in trying to out shine what is already set apart as holy and sacred. Happy Holidays mamas, I hope yours are filled with memories and laughter and the knowledge that you are truly and deeply loved.

Amber Newberry is the founder of Beautiful and Beloved where she shines a light on the Truth that all people are beautiful and worthy of love.  Join her @beautifulandbeloved on instagram to be encouraged.