Remember when I started blogging and I had cake for breakfast? This morning I was in the holiday spirit having ginger molasses cookies made by hubby before I even considered any other breakfast for myself.

The holidays can be tough, no matter what you celebrate. If you’ve got family that gets together for meals for any holiday, you probably experienced regret or guilt at some point after a meal right?

I think guilt is such a common holiday trend, not just about food and I am hoping to address a few different aspects of it to give a little perspective.

Guilt can come from feeling inadequate with gifts or with having trouble sharing time with family members, we can feel guilty for eating too much and feeling bloated. We spend so much time around the holidays stressing about money and time and schedules and weight etc. that we forget what it was like to just sit back and enjoy this time of year (or any holiday time really.) I wish I could spoil everyone in my life every day, my best friend feels a million miles away and some days all I want to do is go show up with armfuls of gifts for her and the kids, I want to spend all the money I don’t have on the people who show me so much love every single day of the year. I realize that isn’t what holidays are about, Christmas for my family is about homemade Chinese food on Christmas Eve and amazing stockings on Christmas mornings aka food and laughs. I would rather get a million crochet scarves or blankets from my Gramma than anything she could buy, My mom is amazing at crafting and my dad is an incredible cook. So basically I’m so easy to please and I somehow still get into the mindset that I’m not doing enough. This is our first Christmas as husband and wife, I should make it hugely special right?! I lose what everything is about because of guilt, I have trouble reminding myself each year that I don’t need to give a million gifts to enjoy my favourite season and holiday. My family won’t love me less if I don’t get them a ton of gifts and my husband won’t leave me if I don’t blow his mind Christmas morning with an expensive pile under the tree.

I have in the past felt guilty about food and if you tasted my family’s cooking you would eat mountains of it too, trust me. I realize what a waste of time it is to feel bad about a second helping of my favourite meal of the year (any turkey dinner with all my faves so like 3x a year I eat like I will never eat again.) To be blunt, worrying about your weight is such a WASTE OF TIME especially at holiday meals! The people who love you the most don’t care if you wake up Boxing Day 7lbs up from the day before because you ate dinner and two helpings of dessert! Self love will take work especially through trigger times like the holiday meals we are accustomed to. Please this year just slow down, enjoy your favourite foods or candies whatever and know that the world wont stop turning if you jiggle a little more in a week (due to water retention more likely, you didn’t gain LBS of fat!). Life is too short to feel like shit during the holidays for any reason but when you make yourself feel bad, that’s something you can acknowledge and change in that very moment. Wear things you feel beautiful in, eat things that make you smile, make the effort in a way that is appreciated and also feels worth it, don’t feel guilty about anything. Don’t feel guilty for the people not in your life anymore, don’t feel guilty about food, don’t feel guilty about money; you are enough no matter how you approach these things.

This year I’ve been dealing with my fair share of guilt. Sometimes food, often money and sometimes its people and relationships.

This year we lost my biological father’s dad (my grandfather) aka Pa. He was a wonderful man who always had a space in his heart for my mom and I and one of my favourite Christmas memories of all time has him in the spotlight. It had been quite a while since we had spoken but I was hoping to invite him to our wedding, I believe he would have adored Andrew and would have been honoured to be invited. I spent a long time feeling guilty we didn’t speak often especially as the years went on but because his son was my absent father it made the relationship unconventional. I felt guilty when my mom called me to tell me he was gone, that I didn’t get to say goodbye, that I didn’t get to tell him how I missed him in our lives and how much I appreciate the memories I have with him. I feel guilty that I haven’t done enough to honor his memory somehow and then I stop and realize that thinking of him and missing him is enough. Wishing I could talk to him and other lost family members is enough to help me process and move on. I shouldn’t feel guilty for how I happened to grieve and how I’ve been processing.

So this year and for the rest of the years to come, I will fight my guilt. I will be enough, my gifts and time spent will be enough. Whatever my body is like will be enough. I will let the stress exist and then let it go, carrying guilt and stress with me does nothing but take the joy out of the moments I should be enjoying.

Take care of yourself, let yourself enjoy all the small moments year round. Cherish the people you love and don’t let everything pass you by. Life isn’t about your body and money, it’s so much bigger than that.