Don’t let Festive FOMO syndrome ruin your holiday. Don’t know what FOMO means? Neither did I. I had absolutely no idea what it meant when my little sister Joanna text #FOMO a few weeks ago because she wasn’t going to be able to join me, our sister Melinda, and some other ladies for a pre-holiday season girls’ weekend. I’ll admit, I had to Google it. It’s a for real thing, though. The Oxford English dictionary even added it in 2013. See how behind I am? FOMO’s been around since 2013 and I’m just now finding out about it.
So what is FOMO? FOMO is the fear of missing out. Festive FOMO is the fear of missing out during the holidays.
Scroll through your Facebook timeline and see your friends at the Ryman listening to Amy Grant and Vince Gill sing “Tennessee Christmas” and suddenly, you’ve got one bad case of FOMO. Listen to your co-worker’s tale of how she sipped hot chocolate and decorated homemade gingerbread men with the family and BAM, instant FOMO. Invited to two Christmas parties on the same night, at the same time with the only possible way of making both, being if a bell rings suddenly giving you your angel wings, serious FOMO.
Right before you saw that Facebook photo of Vince and Amy all hugged up singing Christmas carols, right before you heard about the hot chocolate with the peppermint swizzle stick and fresh baked cookies, and right before that second invitation made its way to you, you know what? You probably weren’t worried about missing out on those things. Then clear out of the blue, you start judging your plans against others. All of a sudden, sitting around the Christmas tree with your family listening to Amy Grant’s Christmas CD instead of her live and in person seems like the cheapskate’s way out. Those store-bought sugar cookies you wanted to decorate tonight after dinner with the kids seem like a copout compared to the start with Martha White flour made-from-scratch version. Only making one party instead of two leaves you wondering if the other party had better food or a cooler crowd. Basically, you end up dissatisfied.
So how can we fight “Festive FOMO?”
Give the gift of your presence this holiday season. Turn off the computer. Shut down the phone. Take a break from social media. Be present. I’ll be honest… the very thought of my iPhone not being within arms-length of me kind of freaks me out, but even if I end up in the fetal position shaking uncontrollably underneath the Christmas tree from iPhone withdrawal, as God is my witness, I’m going to try it… at least for a little while.
Don’t compare your insides to someone else’s outsides. We are so busy creating a life that looks good on the outside that we forget the inside is what’s important. An inevitable comparison of the lives we perceive people to have can leave us discontent with our own. Theodore Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the thief of joy,” and he was right, y’all.
Try gratitude. Make a list of all the things you have to be grateful for. Every time you start to have one of those “poor me” moments, pull out your list. Read it. Get over yourself. Repeat steps in necessary.
Maybe these simple steps will help us all have a Merry Christmas. Lord knows, it couldn’t hurt. Merry Christmas, y’all!