Our Thanksgiving meal has been eaten. My lesson plans for December are complete. Our Christmas tree is decorated. Everything about the holiday season is in full force.

Obsessive Christmas Disorder

I love everything about the holiday season. I love the lights, I love the cookie baking (even though I’m horrible at baking), I love the sounds, I love sitting in silence and reading by the Christmas tree.

My husband would probably comment that I go a little overboard with the whole holiday thing. I think his point was validated this week when my daughter and one of her best friends told me they had “obsessive Christmas disorder.” I laughed with the girls and agreed with them.

From the humming of Christmas songs and wearing festive sweatshirts to planning how many cookies we will bake, my daughter and her friend might be treading a fine line with the “obsessive Christmas disorder.” Just the other day, my daughter and her friend found Santa socks in their locker, and the excitement on their faces was priceless.

And while they do go overboard and their joy is sometimes overbearing, these two do not fall into the commercialism of the holiday season trap. They make those around them understand the meaning of truly being present and enjoying the moment. These two girls just go about their day, and they don’t realize they’re modeling an extremely important life lesson.

Learning to Be Present in the Moment

I often find it hard to understand my teenage daughter and her friends. They’re usually concerned about what’s happening now, who they’re going sit with at the lunch table, etc. They live in the present moment.

Most teenagers don’t spend a ton of their time wondering what they’ll be doing tomorrow, a week from now or six months from now. When my daughter and her friends are together, they’re laughing, they’re singing at the top of their lungs and they’re enjoying hanging out.

The lesson that can be learned from my daughter and her friend is that they enjoy every moment and are present in that moment. There it is. Being present in the moment. It hit me. I put so much into making the season perfect for everyone that maybe, just maybe, I am never truly present.

My daughter and her friend have inspired me to be present in the moment, but they have also inspired me to be intentional in the moment.

First and foremost, I’m going to focus on making memories with my family rather than buying them things this year. I’m going to put the laptop down to play board games or put puzzles together with my kids. I’m not going “to do things” just to say I “checked that off my list.” I’m going to sing at the top of my lungs right along with my kids. I’m going to bake more. I’m going to be intentional in how I spread kindness and joy this season.

So maybe my daughter and her friend’s self diagnosis of “obsessive Christmas disorder” isn’t a disorder at all. Maybe it’s a life lesson they both are teaching those around them this holiday season.

Shelly Mowinkel

Shelly Mowinkel

K-12 & Teens

My husband and I have three kids. Our oldest is a freshman in high school, and our youngest is in second grade. Most days, I feel like we are a “tag-team chauffeuring” service, yet I wouldn’t have our life any other way. Not only I am a business/technology teacher at Milford, I am also the district technology integration specialist. I love teaching because I get the opportunity to make those around me better. My hope is that, through my blogging, I am able to inspire, encourage, and share with you my adventures of being a wife, mother, and professional.

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