The Gift of Letting Go

December 9th, 2014 by Dionna | 17 Comments
Posted in Adults, Carnival and Special Series, Carnival of Natural Parenting, Eclectic Learning, Healthy Living, Just for Fun/Miscellaneous, My Family, natural parenting

Welcome to the December 2014 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Greatest Gifts

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have suggested go-to gifts and gifting experiences for the holiday season for all your loved ones.


give gifts

I love making things for people. The problem is, I’m not so great at gift-making time management. Inevitably, mid-November rolls around every year and all of a sudden I’m thinking, “crap! What am I making everyone for Christmas?!”

And then I have a huge meltdown the entire month leading up to Christmas. I craft late into the night, I rope my husband into helping. I cry, I cuss, and I kick myself for a) not starting sooner and b) putting the pressure on myself in the first place.

And that’s the real problem. All of the pressure is self-imposed. I have no idea where it comes from. (Ok, maybe Pinterest is partially to blame.) But I’m tired of it.

So this year, my gift to myself is that I’m releasing myself from the obligation. No one will care if they get a book instead of a scarf, or a cute picture of the kids instead of an embroidered hand print. And if they do? That’s not my problem.

I’m crafting a few things for my own children (gnomes! a red riding hood cape! a Mario hat!), but if I don’t finish in time, I’m not sweating it. They sure won’t.

Already, I feel lighter. The burden of performing, of perfection, is gone. It leaves me freer to enjoy the holidays in a more meaningful way.

That’s a present that will make the whole family happier.

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Photo Credit: Use with permission from Neil Cummings via Flickr Creative Commons


Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(This list will be updated by afternoon December 9 with all the carnival links.)

  • Natural parent’s baby shower registry — Since she had everything already for baby #3, Lauren at Hobo Mama is amusing herself by building a list of essentials and a few fun fripperies for a natural-parenting nursery.
  • Gifts of love — Charlie at PeelingClementines recalls her favourite Christmas gift of all time and thinks about how to add this magic to her little one’s first Christmas.
  • The Gift of Letting Go — Dionna at Code Name: Mama has discovered that when you’re a perfectionist, sometimes the best gift is simply releasing yourself from self-imposed expectations.
  • Montessori Inspired Gifts for Babies and Toddlers — Rachel at Bread and Roses shares gift ideas that were a hit with her son last year and what’s on her wishlist for this year.
  • Giftmas Ideas for KidsMomma Jorje offers an original gift idea that hasn’t been overdone and is good for the kids!
  • Favorite CDs for Babies and Toddlers {Gift Guide} — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares her family’s favorite CDs for babies and toddlers, some of which were favorites of her children and are now favorites of her granddaughter.
  • The Birthday Turned Christmas Wish ListThat Mama Gretchen forgot to share her birthday wish list this fall, but she’s still wishin’ and hopin’ a present or two will arrive for Christmas!
  • 8 Thoughtful Non-Toy Gifts for Baby — Is your family asking for hints for presents to give baby? Moorea, guest posting at Natural Parents Network, offers this list of ideas that won’t overwhelm your little one with toys.

17 Responses to:
"The Gift of Letting Go"

  1. This is a great attitude! I can definitely relate – I am making a needlepoint stocking for my daughter and will probably be done when she is in college! Luckily she is not yet old enough to care.

  2. Lauren @ Hobo Mama   Hobo_Mama

    That is so smart. I had a goal to make gifts this year for both my mom and mother-in-law, and just the other day, I had to say to myself, “Hey, weirdo, you have a newborn. You need to let it go and buy something.” Sometimes you just have to get real with your time and energy constraints, hey?

  3. You’re making gnomes for your kids?!?! That’s probably the coolest present idea I’ve heard in a long time. Not sure if I have the time to make something like that myself (I’m currently working on pajama pants for my immediate family, and even that’s probably overly ambitious), but I love the idea!

    I really do love the idea of making gifts, but it’s so hard to find the time with a little one underfoot. Maybe in the coming years I’ll be able to get back to more DIY, but for now, I’m with you. :)

    • The gnomes are SO CUTE. Seriously. I got a ton of wooden peg people to do ornaments (for an annual ornament exchange – I haven’t been able to give that one up!), and had a bunch left over. The gnomes are perfect for them :)

  4. Tat   muminsearch

    I used to love making gifts… I guess I still would, if I could do it without too much stress. I haven’t made a conscious choice of letting go, it just happened.

    • I still love making them, I just wish I could get it together so that I could make them throughout the year and not stress at the last minute!

  5. Momma Jorje   mommajorje

    Those gnomes are so cute! And this is wise advice! I’ve done amazingly well with some homemade gifts in recent years, but… I just knew I didn’t have it in me this year. I couldn’t even get motivated to hunt for ideas! Hand crafted stuff was new to my gift recipients anyway, since my ex-husband thought they were an awful idea.

    • My gnomes aren’t quite as cute as the amazing lady at Wee Folk Art, but I’m still really excited to give them to Ailia :)

  6. Gretchen   ThatMamaG

    That Red Riding Hood cape is DARLING! I kind of want to ask when your Etsy shop will be opening for orders, but totally get letting go. Lord knows I need to do the same :)

    • Ha! Last year I made Kieran the Jedi cloak that is a modified version of the red riding hood cape. It is so cute, and so easy! I’m almost done with Ailia’s cape now- it is adorable!

  7. Deb @ Living Montessori Now   DebChitwood

    I totally agree with letting go of lots of the obligations, Dionna. I stopped doing a lot of the things that were stressing me out a few years ago, and my Christmas seasons are fun now. I stopped certain things like sending Christmas cards and just send a group email Christmas letter to family members. They’re all busy, too, and understand the need to do less. We have happy, stress-free family times together, and our Christmases are better than ever.

    • I’m so glad I never got on the holiday card train. I love getting them, but I am SO bad about sending them! I’m totally letting go of the guilt on that one.

  8. Laurie Hollman   lauriehollmanph

    The gift of letting go is just the right present to give yourself. It’s time to be yourself, not what others expect or think is right for them. Enjoy your holidays.
    Laurie Hollman at Parental Intelligence

  9. Bibi   bibiestlund

    Brilliant! I am doing this for myself this year as well. Not exactly with crafting, because I already knew that wasn’t going to happen, but with everything. I probably will not be able to cook a huge fancy meal for the family since the twins just turned a year old. So we are thinking of making our own pizzas for Christmas dinner. I’m buying baking mix in case someone feels like having dessert…my hubby can handle putting that together. And I’m doing all shopping online. Also, we aren’t traveling this year. I figure I can make better memories with my children if I’m not stressing every inch of the way. Wishing you a peaceful and relaxing holiday season.

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