A Note When Special Days Don't Feel Special

A note of encouragement for when special days don't feel special...

Not every day has to be special; and not every special day has to be over-the-top memorable. This is a reminder I needed myself today, so decided to type it up just in case you also need to be reminded. Feel free to insert your own name if it fits, or not. It's up to you.


Trina, on this first day of the kids' winter break and the day before Christmas Eve, I give you permission to have an "off" day. To not feel like doing all the things or creating all the special.

Sure, you could have had something planned today. I mean, deep down you probably knew togetherness and laziness wouldn't be enough of an agenda when the kids all woke up at 6:30 in the morning needing something to do. You're not to fault for being hopeful.

And those looming clouds and that ongoing rain? You're not in charge of that. Sure, you live in Nebraska and if anything should be keeping your kids hulled up inside it should be sleet or ice or bitter coldness. It's not your fault that this year, instead of a winter wonderland you're looking out at cold gloomy wetness.

Also, that headache? Not your fault either. (Ah hem, thanks monthly cycle.) Sometimes your body is the boss of you. The best you can do at that point is turn on The Santa Claus for the kids and hope that some of that holiday special-ness will pour out of the TV screen as you rest your head on the couch pillow.

It is not your job to make every moment of your children's young lives magical. Even through the holidays. You do your best to insert some fun traditions and be intentional about moments that matter. The rest of it? Let it go. Let them learn to use their imaginations and see the magic of what happens when they witness their own boredom blossom.

Listen to them downstairs while their baby brother is napping upstairs: They're playing pretend. As short as it may last, that is the magic of childhood, and you had nothing to do with it. Actually, yes, you did. You gave them space to be kids while you wait for the Tylenol to kick in. Good on you.

Now, I know you already know you didn't need to be scrolling through Instagram when you were feeling your lowest. When you already felt like you were failing your kids for not having more energy today or not planning all the baking and holiday fun you know think you "should" be doing with them.

You didn't need to see everyone else's over-the-top special moments from this season. Not on this day when you needed more than anything to be assured that normal and mundane is okay and not going to scar your kids. That as long as everyone is taken care of and loved and there's perhaps some sweet holiday melodies flowing from Pandora (because there is), that you're doing enough.

Relax. Today is special simply because it exists by no power of your own, and you and your people exist in it together, also by no power of your own. You feed them and bathe them and keep showing up for them and that's great. But we all know this one chance at precious life is by God's goodness and His breath and power moving in and through you and your home and your family.

So just chill when you start feeling like you're failing everyone, or like you're personally ruining this holiday for everyone. They're still breathing and the world's still spinning.

Today, that's special enough.


also see:
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creating a meaningful, simple christmas
dose of simple