Christmas is quickly approaching and I’m trying to figure out when I’m supposed to have time for all of this so called holiday cheer. It’s 3 days away. 3 days left of trying to shove in as many Christmas movies I can while snuggling on the couch with my girls, who of course, are wearing holiday themed pajamas, and enjoying the lit up Christmas tree. But instead of focusing on the joy this time of year is supposed to create, I’m thinking of all of the things I have left to get done.
There are gifts that still need to be wrapped. I have to plan Christmas dinner, which we’ll be hosting at our house. I need to think through Christmas Eve and what I’m going to do to make it special for my girls and what outfits they are going to wear. I am trying to decide if we’re going to do any of the fun Christmas crafts that I found on Pinterest that turn into keepsakes of their hand print and foot prints that get turned into Christmas trees or some other Christmas item. And on top of it, my children aren’t feeling well.
Because why wouldn’t your children get sick right before Christmas? And even better, why wouldn’t the doctor not know what they have? It’s a game of waiting it out to see if my daughter gets better on her own, or if she gets worse and we have to take her in to the doctor again. No parent ever wants their child to be sick, but I feel like it’s so much harder when you don’t know what’s wrong with them, and you already have a lot on your plate. And being sick at Christmas sucks for everyone, especially a child.
On top of the impending holiday and all of the fun that’s supposed to come about, I still have to work this coming week which takes away from some of the time that I need to get things done. And adds to my stress of the things at work that I haven’t gotten done.
Add in some holiday get togethers and social gatherings to the mix because it’s important to spend time with family and friends during the holidays. But it also means more planning for food and gifts and hoping your children are good at the these get togethers so you can have some much needed grown up time.
The holidays are stressful. Completely stressful. I think about the movie Bad Moms Christmas and I can totally relate to that movie. We try our best to make the holidays perfect for our kids and our families but sometimes at the expense of our own happiness.
We’re not Santa Claus. As much as we want to be, we’re not. Which means we need to stay in our lane and accept what we can and cannot do. It’s not our job to make sure EVERYONE is happy. It’s our job to make sure we are happy and that our children are happy. And of course, you should probably make sure your spouse is happy too. We’re trying to avoid being Santa Claus, not going for Grinch status.
Take time to slow down and really try to enjoy the holidays WITH your family. Be part of the celebration. Join in and play games. Indulge in the delicious food and desserts. Have a fancy adult cocktail and stay up past 8 o’clock. Live on the edge but be present.
Allow others to help you. Crank out the shopping and wrapping gifts with your spouse or partner. Find a way to make it fun and do it when you’re not stressed about other things. Look for ways to make dinner prep simple- hello crock pot and instant pot! And guess what- no one is going to remember if you used your finest holiday print china to serve dinner on so use paper plates or something that can easily go in the dishwasher. Allow your children to help you set up for dinner as well as clean up after dinner. It will help things move quicker and they’ll learn how to contribute with chores.
Don’t stress about things that you can’t control. You’re going to spend a lot of time around other people, which means you’re likely to get irritated by someone. Let it go. Move on and enjoy your time. Again, you’re not Santa so it’s not your job to decide if they are naughty or nice.
If you’re sick or someone in your family is sick, skip the get togethers to avoid getting others sick. You can find fun stuff to do at home to celebrate the holidays without risking everyone else getting sick. Be courteous and respectful.
And last, spread kindness more than anything. Everyone is fighting at least one battle we don’t know about. Maybe someone is having finance troubles. Someone else may be going through a separation. Others may be suffering from depression or an illness we don’t know about. Holidays are also hard for those who are celebrating after the loss of a love one. Spread love and kindness, you never know who may need it.
The goal is to be happy and create joyful memories and traditions for our children to look back on. Make sure that you’re focusing on what really matters. The other bullshit will still be there after the holidays. Allow yourself to have the happiness that this time of year should create.