Perhaps you have heard the famous song lyrics from The Sound of Music, “Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens, brown paper packages tied up with strings. These are a few of my favorite things.” I couldn’t have said it better. Neatly wrapped gifts or packages really are a few of my favorite things, especially at Christmastime. Several years ago, my friend group of about 10 women all decided to participate in a Christmas party in which we exchange our favorite things. Each person would think of an item that was a favorite from the calendar year to gift to the others in the group. Let’s face it, we all have those items we adore and can’t stop talking about. After setting a maximum dollar amount, each person purchases that item for the other ladies in the group, wraps each one the same, and prepares to share the reason the item has “changed her life.”
We gather for dinner and share our favorite foods, enjoy great conversation, and open the gifts. This evening is my favorite night of the holiday season. It isn’t because I take home a bunch of useful and fascinating gifts, although that does put a smile on my face. It is because of the rich friendships and support I receive from these women.
As moms, December can be filled with attending concerts or programs, baking treats, gift shopping, running children to party after party, and accomplishing all sorts of tasks to help our children feel the magic of Christmas. While this is fulfilling in itself, I have come to realize that moms need to engage in the magic of Christmas as well. We need friendships, laughter, and support just like our children do. Oddly enough, it makes us better moms! You may be thinking, How could adding one more thing to my December calendar make me a better mom? Let me highlight just a few reasons.
- Time with friends is a healthy coping mechanism. Studies have shown that women need relational, social interaction so much more than men. Interacting with friends has been proven to lower stress, boost health stats, and increase optimism. I am pretty sure I am a better mom when I have less stress, a healthy body, and a positive outlook on my parenting.
- All moms need guidance, support, and wisdom as they go through different stages of motherhood. In civilizations all over the world, women pass on knowledge and wisdom from one to another and generation to generation. Women have supported one another in many different ways. This is truly a gift when women offer encouragement, stating, “I have been there. Trust in the Lord. It will all work out.”
- A night out brings a refreshing perspective to life and our role as mothers. Let’s face it, the role of a mom is hard work that requires physical and emotional strength. We can often find ourselves depleted, worn down, and short-tempered. Spending time relaxing, laughing, and enjoying a hobby or activity can fill up our depletion and refresh our weary souls.
If you don’t already have a close group of women, you are not alone. It takes effort and time to cultivate these relationships. Fight to find your tribe. Don’t give up! Ask God to bring you women into your life who will push you toward Him, encourage you when you are weak, and love you during stress and trauma. Perhaps God is asking you to start a group? Don’t wait for these women to come find you; go find them. Start by throwing your own favorite-things party.