…building a business: christmas

This is the second year in a row where, dare I say, I kinda hate Christmas. There. I said it.

I love seeing friends, entertaining, baking cookies for preschool, reading books for the kindergarteners, watching ballet performances, Christmas pageants, buying gifts, wrapping said gifts and attending parties. I do. Just not all within a three week time-period.


Then I have the added pressure of my work. I never want Blue Egg to be pressure. I want it to be a release from pressure. Can our small businesses be safe from pressure and deadlines? Hmmmm. I have been doing this for over 5 years and I am not sure we can block ourselves from the demands.

I learned last week from my DT (Dear Therapist) that when we do not put boundaries in place then those feelings of being pushed around and trampled on still come out. There is relief in this because hopefully it will give us permission to set the boundary and say “No” or “Stop” or “Wait” if we know that we will eventually have to say these things. It’s like our emotions and body have to take over for us when our words fail us. They take charge  and say, “If you are not going to do this for Christen, then I am going to.” And things come out like frustration, crankiness, and even anger.

How can we avoid these yucky feelings when all we want to do is enjoy the Christmas lights and hot chocolate? I am not very good at this, but I believe that the answer is to just say no. You put all those jobs and plans on the calendar thinking, “I can rally. It will be fun.” Then the deadline comes and it’s “I. Just. Can’t. Do. It. All.” Our bodies shut down, we get colds and the dreaded stomach bug. Our bodies are so smart, aren’t they? They can reject plans when we can’t do it ourselves.

Thank you, Body.

I thought I was going to do it all right this year by scheduling painting jobs out. I did that. But, I didn’t do that with my personal life and now here I sit just wanting to curl up on the couch with my sniffily nose and watch Hoda & Kathie Lee talk about how wear winter white. Can’t I just do that?

What if I said, “Body, I got this one. You don’t have to feel miserable for me to say no this time. I can do this and not worry about disappointing everyone.”

Yes. I think I have some emails to send and some calls to make. You do too, Friend.


(I saw this during my weekly run to Whole Foods for tea & soup and had to snap a pic!)




  1. i believe we push ourselves too hard at times. Some push is fine, but I believe too much is what makes us miserable. My New Year’s resolution is going to be to opt for a simpler life. No matter what it takes. Life is too short and in the end what part of it will matter when we are gone. I want a simple, yet productive life.. But I don’t want to look back and
    regret putting importance on the things that matter least. Our lives are definitely a blessing, and we should certainly nurture them with all that we have. I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas. I read your blog and watch all of your tutorials on chalk paint. i think you are an inspiration to so many. Now get your cup of hot chocolate, a warm blanket, and relax to some beautiful Christmas music.

    • It all boils down to the saying ”Life is What You Make it”. If you are trying to be supermom and run a business at full capacity then know you are bound to get overwhelmed. It might be good to anticipate your busy times and be proactive in preparation and making decisions in advance about what to do and what not to do. Calling in some reinforcements (family, friends, other resources) or scaling back could be some options to cut down on the work at hand and make the season more mentally and physically enjoyable.

    • Laura Blume says:


  2. Well said Christen! I find that when I am stressed, I hold my breath. During important exams (nursing state boards), riding my horse when he has an attitude (yes… they get those) and I see my life flashing before my eyes, when my son is in a wrestling match and I want to yank the kid off of him and scream, “you leave him alone!” which would embarrass my son to death! People tell me to just “breathe!!!” Kinda like when you are in labor! So Christen: BREATHE!! Enjoy!
    Blessed Christmas to you and your family! I am praying for you!


  3. For me there is no Christmas preparation this year. Just work, work, work… I have my first really big customer paint job to do and that beside my “normal” office job. I promised my client to deliver before Christmas and that was before I knew how time-consuming this job would become… I suppose that with the end of this week I will just fall into a deep coma or so. I promise to myself to never ever do this again!!!

    Hope you are more clever! 😉 Wish you all the best!

    P. S.: This is the first time since weeks I took the time to read your blogpost…

  4. Laura Blume says:

    Christen, I hope you are on the couch taking some time. Everyone needs that especially at the holiday season when things are emotionally weird. If a piece of furniture does not get finished or emails go unanswered or you don’t attend a party… The world will not fall out of the sky. Here’s to listening to our bodies and our hearts. –Laura

  5. Christen, I’m a newer follower of you, but I can say I totally relate! I gave my resignation (mainly for the reasons you have just talked about) from a 15 year career a month and a a half ago and am done at the end of Dec. I keep telling myself I can push through all of this craziness because it will all be over in a few weeks. And each day this week, I have to talk myself into not staying in bed/my pajamas all day because I’m over it! Its so sad because I love the holidays, they’re my favorite time of year. but my job is very event heaving this time of year, and it takes its toll. Your reminder about boundaries is good for me as I start a new life of staying home with my kids, painting and learning how to set new boundaries and expectations. I hope you have a Merry Christmas! Thanks for your honest post!

  6. All I can say is, “pace yourself” my friend. We should not be stressing over Christmas at all! Christmas is about the celebration of the amazing birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

    Secondly, the Bible is a blue print for life, and chock-full of Scriptures to uplift and encourage one when stressed out.
    I call it “simplify.” Here are 10 Scriptures to uplift and encourage you.

    Deuteronomy 3:18
    Psalm 16:8
    Psalm 56:3-4
    John 16:33
    Philippians 4:6-7
    John 14:27
    Psalm 32:7-8
    2 Corinthians 11:27-28
    Psalm 34:17
    Romans 8:6

    The more you stay in the Word of God, and allow the Word to work in and through you, the fewer appointments to the therapist. With God it’s always a win win!

    Many blessings to you and your beautiful family this Christmas Season and all throughout the New Year!

  7. Oh Christen, you are speaking to my heart! Our family is coming to visit for Christmas and I am overwhelmed trying to create a lovely holiday for everyone but me. Reading your words has let me know I am not alone. May the spirit and love of the season wash over you so you can relax and enjoy it a bit…I’ll be here wish for the same in my life. <3

  8. So very well said! Totally what I have been experiencing this year. My husband said he was worried about me because I was so down on myself this year. Everything happened before I was prepared for it so I became very grumpy. Yes, even started with a cold. I am taking your words to heart and stopping at this very moment to breathe and count my blessings instead of worrying and stressing. Thanks for sharing and I hope you and your family have a beautiful and blessed Christmas.

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