I don’t know about you, but my Instagram feed is already filling up with posts of homes that are looking all perfect – super clean, super sleak, with the most beautiful Christmas trees you could ever dream of.  Meanwhile, here I am, little old me, who just managed to take the fall decorations down (read: moved the fake cobwebs that were up for Halloween), and should give myself a high five (I guess) for having hung the kids’ paper snowflakes in the window (go me)!

The calendar hasn’t even turned to December, and I already feel like a Christmas failure!

My Christmas lights (true story)

As my children get older, I am starting to tread carefully through this holiday season.  My heart wants to give them everything they desire, but my heart also wants them to understand the true meaning of the season; to practice kindness and giving, not just in December, but throughout the year.  But I’m contending with a society that just wants to sell my children (well, and let’s face it, me) a perfect Holiday, wrapped in a perfect bow, shiny, new, and probably expensive.  Quite frankly, I just want to be all bah-humbug about the whole thing!

This year, along with chocolates (because, let’s face it, I’m a chocoholic), we will be introducing a “Kindness Calendar” to the kids.  I printed THIS ONE from the CBC Kids website, but really, I’m using it for inspiration and will be making some of my own.  The idea is to spend a part of each day focusing on family, friends, kind acts, being thoughtful, and shifting the focus from ourselves. 

What I’ve learned though in my short tenure as “mom” (and adult), is that we’re all just winging it.  And seriously, moderation is key.  I want to give my children that magical moment on Christmas morning; I want them to enjoy a daily chocolate from their Advent Calendar, but I also want them to take time out of their day to consider other people, to put some focus on the needs of others, to reflect and understand how very fortunate they are.

So, here we go Holidays – I’m ready for you… kind of… still need to untangle those lights though!

Carol Anne is the co-owner of Lifetime of Love Doula Services, is a grand-daughter, daughter, niece, aunt, godmother and wife.  She is also called “mama” by two incredible, energetic and inquisitive boys.  It was during her first pregnancy that she learned about the benefits of having a doula and knew in her heart that this was a career and passion she wanted to pursue. ​