Oh, the irony of that title!
I stressed over messes for years, especially around the holidays. Everything should have been neat, clean and put in their proper places, yet by the time Christmas had arrived, the house was in order, but I was a ragged mess- mentally and physically.
Of course if I had been maintaining my mess in the first place...well, that's trash over the can at this point. I'm now getting my house decluttered and organized, and I know I won't be done by Christmas. And I don't give a rat's patootie either.
Every day I see others stressing about it though- like we all don't have enough to be stressed over! Especially the moms. Moms have a particular need for perfection around this time of year. Moms with kids too little to lend much of a hand. Moms with older kids too busy/tired/unwilling to lend a hand.
It's a lot like planning your own wedding every year. You want perfection. You need perfection. But there's no way in Washington that you'll get perfection. Not when little Tyler just painted the TV with yogurt, and the family pet just did something nasty on the rug concerning pine needles and tinsel.
When you have kids, don't expect perfection. You ain't Martha Stewart, and you can't afford her kids psychologist bills. Give up the ghost of perfection, and put on the ghost of the Spirit!
Who are we all trying to impress, anyway? Those family members we see once a year? Are we afraid of Aunt Mertle sticking her nose up in the air and sniffing distastefully at our skewed magazines, or toys on the floor? Give her some nose plugs and tell her to go see a lung specialist for that 'pug snort' she seems to have. Or tell her to go pound sand. Or just don't invite her over! You need people around you that let you relax in your own home, not make you feel like a bumbling innkeeper!
Just remember, God doesn't give a hoot if our house is messy- He cares only about how welcoming we are. If you feel Aunt Mertle must be there, welcome her warmly and stuff her so full of food that she can't move- it's hard to sniff disdainfully when you're eating good food and enjoying yourself!
You have kids. Kids make messes. It's their job. But if you're focused on the people and not the 'things' around you, you'll not only find yourself relaxing, but having a great time too! So don't stress over holiday mess. I'm not...anymore.
I'm going to sit down with my Aunt Mertle, have a homemade cookie (maybe the one my kids made just for me- a snowman with gloppy icing, one eye and a misshapen hat), some hot berry tea and enjoy myself. After all, isn't the reason for the season to celebrate the birth of Christ?
And who can celebrate when stressed? Take that word and spell it backwards- Desserts! Now that's celebrating!