Well, I’m here writing, and you’re here reading, so it looks like we both survived yet another holiday season- yay, us!
I love putting my all into creating a special holiday experience for my family; I really do. I love decorating the house so that it feels inviting and cozy. Though I dread the actual shopping (as I’ve mentioned here), I savor the thrill of giving my loved ones gifts that I know they’ll be so excited to have.
I love the Christmas carols, the colorful lights on the houses, the scent of peppermint, & all the other good things that the Christmas season entails.
BUT… sometimes the power of social media affects my celebration of the holidays. You too?
Here’s the thing. While I love checking out what other families are doing in terms of celebrating, sometimes that peek is a mixed bag. While I don’t feel the pressure to “keep up with the Joneses” in my day-to-life REAL life, sometimes my social media strolls lead me to want to feel like other families/moms are doing it so much better.
You know-the ones who have their children in sparkling, freshly pressed Christmas outfits, all smiling into the camera.
The ones who have WAY more presents under their tree.
The ones who are celebrating the holidays in some lush tropical paradise.
The ones who have elves that are WAY more creative than our elf.
I’ll admit that I had a few brief flashes of inferiority after glimpsing other people’s holiday preparations.
But then it hit me that if you were to take a quick peek at MY social media, you’d see very similar images:
The tree, artfully decorated.
Our family Christmas card, with each child smiling sweetly.
Our tree decorating, cookie-baking family evening, replete with Santa hats, cocoa mugs, & smiles.
Now these moments were authentic. They were real, & they are events that take place each year, regardless of a camera’s presence.
But if people only see the pictures we choose to upload, it sometimes paints a different story than the full reality.
- Sure, we decorated the tree as a family, as we do each year. But what you don’t see is a sulking teen who wasn’t in the mood to participate. And you don’t see us cackling in glee as sullen teen’s sibling performed a very excellent and very LOUD trumpet rendition of “The 12 Days of Christmas” right outside her bedroom door. ‘Tis the season to be jolly!
- Sure, we sent out our yearly, obligatory Christmas card with picture-o’-kids as required of good suburban parents, but what you don’t see are the 347 outtakes, with me begging, pleading, and threatening them to “Stop moving… stop touching the ornaments… stop doing…whatever that is…”
- Sure, we did a fun seasonal craft project, but what you don’t see is the pink glitter that was accidentally hacked into and sprinkled throughout THE ENTIRE HOUSE.
(So apologies to my childrens’ future spouses, but I’m pretty sure that you will not only marry my child, but will also marry the pink glitter that will come with them since it will never.go.away. EVER.)
And while there may be pictures of our sweet Christmas Day gift unwrapping, what you don’t see is the preliminary gift-hauling and stocking stuffing that occurs behind the scenes, which entails much sighing (me), muttering (me), & self-pity (me) for being so tired and so in debt.
Was it a great holiday? Absolutely.
And while I love sharing the precious, beautiful moments with my friends on social media, it’s important to remember that not everything that glitters is gold.
We often see, and share, our “best side”.
Lesson 1: Don’t let yourself feel inadequate based on what you see on social media. You’re getting the highlight reel. The good stuff. The polished, finished product.
And while that stuff is valuable, there’s the other half to remember: the real, messy, complicated, exhausting side that comes with being an adult raising a family.
Lesson 2: Don’t buy glitter for people. Ever. If you love them, you’ll listen.
© Copyright 2016 Six Pack Mom, All rights Reserved. Written For: Six Pack Mom