Rick Charlie

It Won’t Be Christmas Without….




It won’t be Christmas without…

My brain started in with the panic when this picture arrived in my inbox from my ex.  I know exactly what they are.  It’s MY mother’s famous Chocolate Mint Christmas cookies.  They are pretty much everyone’s favorite EVER!!!  This is when the panic kicks in:

  • “How can it be Christmas without these cookies??”
  • “I don’t have time to make them this year, I’m SOOOO far behind!!!”
  • “I don’t even have the house ready to decorate yet!”
  • “Wait, I don’t have decorations up???”
  • “Get out the calendar, make the lists, GET MOVING!”
  • “OMG, It’s already December 6th!!!!  We’re missing it!!!”

(Yes, I actually drew this.)

This is where the panic/comparison monster comes out in full force.  He wants everything to be perfect.  He will not only look at what everyone else is doing, but will also look at every best detail you ever did on a particular occasion, and make sure that you know you have to live up to that.  The best cookies, the best present, the best spread, the best decorations, the best event ever all begin to line up in your memory banks to taunt you with their awesome joyousness.  And the panic/comparison monster screams into your subconscious – “It won’t be CHRISTMAS without_______”


First and foremost, Christmas (the day) will happen no matter what you do.  It just will.  Now, this other Christmas that is this thing made up by (your head, your family and friends, the media, corporations, and everything else in your world) is just that, a story you make up every year.

I can remember many Christmas as a child.  Family, church, candy, toys, presents (both good and bad – all the dang silver/blue sweaters!), friends and FOOD!!  And you know what?  I don’t want anything to “top” any of those memories.  Those things are a part of me.  Both good and bad.  It all happened however it happened, and that is totally cool!!!  I actually LIKE it that way. What I don’t remember is disappointment.  I KNOW they happened, but I don’t remember what they were.  It isn’t important now, because that was then, and now it’s now.  Got it?

Digging into the reason

I know the two places where this comes from for me.  First, is my mother of course. Christmas

This is a picture of the front of our house from 1970.  My mom MADE all that by hand (with help from my dad)!  Can you even imagine what the INSIDE looked like?  It was all VERY tasteful, and never gaudy, but OMG decorated down to the last detail!!!  I have no clue how she did it. Numerous village scenes all over the house, candles, trimmings, ornaments, trains, cookies, candy, ice cream;  we even each had our very own full size fully decorated Christmas tree IN OUR BEDROOMS!!!  Our house was often on the Christmas Parade of Homes.  My mother – The Queen of Holidays!  And I loved it!  All of it!

There is no way in hell I could live up to that!  Not even close!  But, yet, here I often try.  I am much more cognizant of that, and I KNOW she is up there sitting with a brandy Old Fashioned in her hand saying, “Ricky dear, don’t even.  That was my thing, and I LOVED doing it so much. Keep those memories, but you are not me, nor should you be.  Let go, and do your own thing dear.”  And so I must.

Second for me is the divorce.  The kids have to split time.  It’s all so weird, and I hate it in so many ways.  Ever since then, I have tried to bend over backwards to make this thing special for them.  It’s a guilt thing.  And another thing to let go of.

What is your thing?

This is where we are.  Can it be Christmas without______?  Of course it can.  Take some time and write down the “things”, the “have to’s”.  Make your plans as best you can.  Then, make sure you MAKE the time to just be.

The magic of Christmas is the experience. If you are too busy getting all wrapped up in the outcome, you are going to miss it.

The magic of Christmas is the experience. If you are too busy worrying about the outcome, your are going to miss it. Click To Tweet

So, in this busy crazy time, MAKE the time to STOP, take a short accounting of what your Panic\Comparison monster is yelling at you, and let it go.  Make your lists, but let go of the BS stories of what has to be perfect.  Let go of those impossible tasks that just really don’t matter, and spend the time instead with those you love, because it is THOSE memories that matter and will last in your brain indefinitely.

Flip side of the same coin

Now, if you are instead one of those that are sitting there thinking “OMG!  Christmas already? This is going to suck again!”  Pretty much the same thing as above.  What stories are you telling yourself that you can ditch?  (I’m going to be alone.  I have to see THOSE people. Nobody cares.  It’s all such a hassle…).  Here is some news on that one – What part are YOU playing in that?  My dear friend Robin Hallett has little video for you that you can watch right here.  It’s about 30 min, but she does a bang up job with this!

Let go of the past stuff, and let THIS year just BE.  Experience it as it all comes, the good, the bad, and the ugly.  Kick that old Panic/Comparison Monster to the curb!

Tis the season.

Breathe in and enjoy!

Peace my friends!

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