What Christmas Doesn’t Mean to Me and My Plan for the New Year

I’m certain that the majority of the blogs you’re following right now are talking about Christmas and New Year’s and reflections in 2020.  While I think we can all agree that the label “dumpster fire” is pretty fitting for 2020, I want to share a couple of lessons I’ve learned only recently as well as my plan for 2021.  First, a quick disclaimer, some of this episode may be triggering for you, and know that these are my thoughts and opinions which you may not share and that’s completely ok.  Having said that, let’s jump in.

With COVID-19 cases still on the rise, Chad and I made the tough decision to stay home for Christmas.  This brought out the emotional big guns for everyone involved ranging from disappointment to anger to understanding.  In the last month, I’ve had several family members and friends test positive – one of which passed away the week of Thanksgiving – and so we figured if there was ever a year to stay put, it’s this one.  Honestly, I have to admit that a big part of me feels relieved that we are staying home because it’s taken the pressure off having to appease everyone.  There have been several years where Chad and I have attended between 7 and 9 different Christmas gatherings and I know this is not uncommon for a lot of families.  Especially when you have divorced parents or grandparents.

Since we aren’t traveling and still want our time together to feel special, I came up with a list of possible Christmas plans.  Admittedly, most of it revolves around food but all that means is we will have a great many leftovers for the days that follow.  We’re going to make monkey bread for Christmas Eve breakfast, king crab legs and filet for dinner, better swim biscuits and gravy for Christmas morning breakfast, and shrimp and salmon for dinner.  BTW, if you haven’t tried better swim biscuits, here’s the recipe, trust me, they will change your life!  We’re also going to make some candy, watch a plethora of movies, work on a puzzle, play video games, and go for a couple of walks.  Oh!  And we’ll do all of this while wearing our Christmas jammies.

I know there are many of you who want nothing more than to spend the holidays with your families because you love being together and they are a joy to be around.  It’s easy, relaxing, and full of fun.  And for that, you are truly blessed.  I also know there are many of you who are weighed down by the anxiety that comes with the holidays.  Last Friday, I was interrogated by a former lawyer/law professor friend of mine about what Christmas means to me.  And I have to tell you that being blindsided by the question I panicked and my answer was slightly rage-filled.  Ok, it was totally rage-filled.  Here’s what I said.  “It’s easier to answer the question by telling you what I think Christmas is not about – it’s not about every family member getting a new vehicle, it’s not about everyone getting a new gaming console.  It’s not about racking up massive amounts of debt just so you can “give your kids a good Christmas.”  It’s not supposed to be filled full of obligations that you had no choice in making nor want to participate.  It’s not about spending time with family members who make you feel bad about yourself or who just really don’t like you.

If you’ve been waiting for someone to validate your feelings and/or give you permission to just say no, here it is.  Honestly, you don’t need my permission nor anyone else’s in order to take care of yourself and your mental health.  Nor do you need my permission to make decisions for your family.  What I do want you to consider though is that just because someone shares DNA with you doesn’t mean you owe them anything.  There are many people in the world whose families are not blood relatives.  Have you ever had a family member try to guilt you into doing something you don’t want to do because “blood is thicker than water?”  Well, people have been misquoting that for years.  The actual quote is “the blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb.” The meaning of this saying is actually the opposite of the way we use it. The saying actually means that bonds that you’ve made by choice are more important than the people that you are bound to by the water of the womb. The saying reflects the fact that the bonds you choose for yourself can mean much more than the ones you don’t have much say in.  So the next time someone tries that out on you, you can let them know that actually, that’s not true.

Whew!  That felt like a big ol’ brain dump if I’ve ever heard one.  It may seem like I completely hate Christmas but don’t get me wrong.  I don’t.  I just hate how the holidays can bring so many folks so much stress and anxiety and for what?  If you are one of those people, my advice to you is to sit this one out.  Global pandemic aside, you don’t have to spend your holidays with anyone you don’t want to.  And, you don’t have to give anyone full disclosure that you don’t want to.  I simple, “thank you for the invitation but we’re not going to be able to make it this year” will suffice.  Let’s move on to New Years!

First of all, I want to share with you this Irish New Year’s Eve tradition that I came across.  I have no idea if it’s actually true, but I think it’s awesome anyway.  Supposedly, at the stroke of Midnight, they open their front doors as a way to let the old year out and the new year in.  I freaking love the symbolism of this!  In fact, I may just open every single door and window in my house to make sure that 2020 has left for good!  Second, I’ve been really thinking about my personal growth for the upcoming year and how to be more intentional with my time.  I don’t know about you, but after the shitshow that was 2020, I’m so ready to move on.  It seems like at least once a week I tell Chad that we watch entirely too much television and it wouldn’t hurt us to read more books.  So that’s what I’m doing.  I have rekindled my romance with the library and have been checking out books and actually reading them.  I’ve set a goal for myself to read 50 books in 2021 – I know, I know, that’s pretty lofty but when I think about how much time I spend in front of the TV I think I can accomplish it.  So if you have any book recommendations I’d love to hear them!  Next, I spend a lot of time helping others figure things out and so 2021 is the year for me to spend some time on myself trying to figure things out in my own life.  Things like, what brings me joy?  What doesn’t?  And finding ways to be in a deeper relationship with God.  As I’ve mentioned in previous episodes, I’m a big fan of therapy and I will continue on that journey for the foreseeable future.  It has truly been so helpful these past 5 months.  Let’s be clear, therapy is not for the faint of heart – it requires a lot of self-reflection and the digging up of past experiences and trauma which can be draining in the moment but ultimately empowering.  And the last thing I want to share about the upcoming year is the pivot I’m making in my business.

I think I mentioned a couple of episodes ago that I was considering changing the name of this blog/podcast.  I came to this decision after working with a personal brand coach who told me that the word “adulting” is just too vague because it can mean different things to different people.  While this was something I hadn’t considered before, I totally get it.  Plus, no one in real life calls me CJ, aside from some of my former students so that just doesn’t make sense either.  A while back I reached out to a few folks who know me best and asked them to give me ten words that best describe me and the most common phrase was “gets shit done.” So, I’m leaning toward Getting Shit Done with Kamron.  Haven’t totally decided on that yet, but I’m really digging it, and here’s why.

In 2021 I am offering my services to those nonprofit leaders and other entrepreneurs who are stuck in their businesses and need help with administrative tasks, which they need in order to grow.  I will do one-on-one coaching, intensive training of their newly hired admins or support staff, or for those who haven’t hired anyone yet, I will set up a personalized system that they can hand off to whomever that person may be.  In other words, I’m helping them get shit done so I thought it was only fitting for my show to be called that as well.  One thing I learned in 2020 is that I cannot produce this blog weekly, so I’m moving to releasing episodes every other week.  Some of the upcoming topics include why routines are a good thing, how to ask for help, and my top 5 tools for getting organized.

Finally, I want to tell you how much I’ve enjoyed having you all as readers.  I appreciate every one of you who has left ratings and reviews and I hope you’ve been able to take away some pearls from these last 26 episodes.  My original word for 2020 was momentum, but I really think it ended up being metamorphosis because I’ve grown much more in this year than ever before.  And I believe that has happened in part through the love and support you have shown me.  From the bottom of my heart, thank you for coming on this journey with me.  I hope that you can find some comfort and peace during this chaotic time of year and I love you all.

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