Welcome aboard, train wreck.
Christmas is this Saturday. We’ve written our letters to Santa. We visited him and told him what we want. We picked up the Oreos for Christmas Eve. And then my son tells me he changed his mind about what he wants Santa to bring him. As if it’s not already wrapped and waiting for him to fall asleep Christmas Eve. If you need me, I’ll be running the shower while I eat those Oreos and drink my wine.
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As a mom, I find it hard to deal with holiday stress.
Surely I’m not the only one. I mean, you’re here and you’re reading this so I think you may be my kind of people.
Instead of being kind and generous during this wonderful time of year, I get stressed and rushed. Snap at my family and cry because I feel like a Grinch.
Christmas is stressful, and these tips can help you deal with it better.
I’m taking a deep breath and clearing my head, then I’ll share some of the tips and tricks that have worked for me in the past.
It’s a good idea to talk to your partner and kids about what they want for the holidays. It may be a little late for some things. Make a list for next year. Are Christmas cookies and gingerbread houses on their list of things they want to do this year?
Do you want to try to do the matchy pajamas family picture on cards next year? Or would they rather drive around and look at Christmas lights?
Set some goals with each other, then work together to make your holidays extra special.
A bad idea isn’t a bad thing. Try something else next year.
Make sure you eat right and work out
The train wreck holiday diet of coffee and Christmas cookies isn’t going to help you here. No, balancing it out with wine isn’t the solution.
Make sure you’re getting enough protein, calcium, and water Seriously. Remember, you are a houseplant with complicated emotions. Drink your water. Push the cookie tray to the side and get some vegetables in its place.
Exercise is important at this time of year, so don’t forget about it. Do not mall walk as part of your routine though. You’re just going to be tempted by sales and the food court. Plus, that’s more people to be around and family is enough. But taking a walk in a park is a great idea. Sunshine. Fresh air. Throw on a podcast or audiobook and you’re getting out, having some time, and getting some steps in. As a bonus, it will help keep your mind in check.
Keep it simple so there’s less stress.
And listen. You’re always going to have that one aunt or cousin that’s on a new diet. They’re going to eyeball you when you grab a cookie or more mashed potatoes. Don’t let them get you down. Stand up and chew loudly with your mouth open. Assert your dominance. But seriously. Comparing yourself to other people is always bad for your self-esteem. It makes people angry. And that’s the opposite of the holiday spirit.
Elf on the Shelf
Throw out the elf. He’s creepy.
Oh, you actually like the elf? Um, ok. Let me think.
Let other people come up with crazy ideas for Elves on the Shelf. If you have older kids in the family, maybe cycle out the elf moving and ideas. That way it’s one less thing for you to worry about. Nothing like waking up at three in the morning because you didn’t have him write in toothpaste or some goofiness.
It’s called the 12 days of Christmas for a reason.
I have a bonus kid, HayHay. Holidays means sometimes she’s here. Sometimes, she’s with her mom. We don’t want her missing out on anything with us.
We spread the holidaying out over the week of Christmas. My oldest and I are not Christian. We are witches. So we celebrate the winter solstice. In honor of that, the kids all get to open one gift. On Christmas Eve, we let them open their stocking gifts. Christmas morning is for the rest before the family comes over.
Set your boundaries.
Coming from a less than financially well off family, my holidays as a child were a lot of work.
Anxiety starts to creep up on me when the holidays are near. As an adult, I have to work very hard to fight it off!
Set budgets. Set time restrictions. And say no to those family members that make you or your kids feel less than amazing. Don’t force your kids to hug, kiss, or even talk to anyone they don’t want to.
Also, let your family members know if you have any food allergies. Nothing says the holidays like an allergic reaction.
Oh, and if you come over to my house, understand the animals live here. You don’t. The cat and dog live here. And they’re terribly behaved and not trained and we love them that way. Build a bridge and get over it because I’m burning that bridge when you get across it.
Take it easy on yourself.
A seven-course holiday meal and an over-the-top-decorated home aren’t the only things you need to make Christmas special.
Take a hard look at Christmases from the past. When you look back, choose the memories that make you feel good.
Remember that your holiday season should be unique to you and your family, not what you see in the magazine. It’s ok to not be Pinterest perfect.
Take some time for yourself.
Before the big holiday shenanigans, check your calendar. Be sure to leave some open days to decompress. If you want to get your hail and nails done, cool. Make sure you do that before the kids are set free for break. Make time for coffee with your friends or dinner with your partner. Unless they’re a source of your stress. Then there’s nothing wrong with eating sushi by yourself.
How about you? What do you do to lessen the stress of the holiday season?
This content contains affiliate links. When you buy through these links, I may earn an affiliate commission. Again, if you like what I post, please like, comment, share, and subscribe. Please consider donating to help keep this going. $1 and I’ll ask you what your favorite book is so we can talk about it. $5 and I’ll write a review of a book you suggest. $10 and I’ll write a blog suggested by you. That’s all I’ve got for today, train wrecks. All aboard.