Controlling Christmas

How many of us are almost burnt out from all the Christmas hype and there are still five days left?  I know I used to be actually glad when Christmas was over because I micro-managed every little part of the season.  I’m sure I’m not the only one in the world that overtaxed themselves trying to make everyone’s Christmas merry and bright!

Every year I was making sure my children had the best Christmas ever…but as the years went on each Christmas was getting harder and harder to top. Not only was I trying to control my children’s Christmases, I also was controlling ever day of the week, making sure there was some sort of activity that they would make their family tradition list.  Gingerbread house making.  Christmas cooking.  Decorating.  Christmas movies.  Caroling.  The list was endless and exhausting!

Even if I didn’t have children, I still had a huge “To Do” list for the month of December ensuring I hit all the “must do” for this festive time of the year.  I had to make sure my Christmas letter was in the mail the first week of December.  I started decorating the first week of December to ensure that I had my house perfectly perfect for any visitors that might show up unannounced.   I had all the Christmas parties on the calendar.  Endlessly wrapping gifts to make sure our friends and family go to unwrap a gift and not just cheat out on a gift bag.

As a child I was a Christmas nut!  I would start listening to Christmas songs in October.  My excitement for the big event would slowly climb until I near exploded the week before Christmas.  I wanted to embrace this incredible feeling even in my adulthood.  I had the craziest beliefs in my head and I wanted everything about Christmas to be just so.  I was actually controlling of my own control over this holiday season.

It’s crazy what our minds can do to us.  I would make these fictitious expectations up in my head of how this year’s Christmas was going to play out and do my absolute best of micro-managing every day right down to the hours to make sure it unfolded the way I had it in my mind.  Then when things didn’t happen the way I expected them to happen, or people weren’t excited to do what I planned I was disappointed.  Christmas was ruined.

But was Christmas really ruined?  No.  My ego was hurt.  The image that I had in my head didn’t work out.  That was all.  My ego tried to control my favorite time of the year and it actually ruined it for me.

How many of us let our egos ruin our lives?  Any time we are feeling angry, jealous, envious, frustrated, or fearful this is our egos hard at work.  How many of us worry what other people think of us?  That is our ego.  It wants us to think that we can control all our situations, but in reality we have control of nothing in our world.  What is going to happen is going to happen.  Sure we can try and control things to go in our favor, but we can’t make something happen that wasn’t supposed to happen –  happen.

We have to learn to let our egos go and let the universe take over.  Stop trying to control every aspect of our lives, especially the people in them.  Nobody wants to be controlled.  Not your children.  Not your spouse.  Not your co-workers.  Not your friends.  Nobody.  Let people be who they are born to be.  Let go of making people do things the way you “feel” they should be done.  Open your mind up to different ideas and concepts.  It might be amazing what you see come out of this lack of control.

I’ve minimized Christmas and I am totally enjoying this festive season as I did when I was an innocent child.  I let my children put up the Christmas tree the way they think is beautiful.  I let my husband organize events and even plan menus.  I go to the Christmas parties I can make or have the energy for and the others I graciously decline.

I finally learned that I do things if the universe gives me time to do it, if not, I don’t worry about it.  I spend time with the people that the universe puts in my path.  Most importantly, I am loving the feeling of not being stressed out about how each of my days are going to unfold and whether or not my loved ones are happy.  Nor do I care what people think about me, my Christmas decorations, or my beliefs about Christmas.  As a Course in Miracles says, “The ego lives by comparisons.” (p. 52) and I am trying desperately to let my ego go and stop any comparisons of myself to others.

I’m finally realizing that it’s not the decorations, or the beautiful lights that make Christmas bright.  It’s not the presents or the events that I have planned for the season that is going to make memories. It’s not even about the people in my life.  People can’t make me happy.  Only I can make me truly happy.  Learning to release all control to the universe and letting it make my Christmas a memorable one is the best gift out there.  By giving up control, an incredible joy has filled my world.  The joy of knowing that the universe knows best.

This Christmas season, why don’t you step away from the control panel of your life?  Let the universe work its magic during this incredibly mystical season and see how much more you can enjoy the holiday season.  It might just make it the best Christmas ever by far!