Shopping, parties, baking, Christmas programs, breakfast with Santa, seeing the light show, wrapping presents, decorating the tree, putting up lights, moving that damn elf every night…. It’s easy to forget why we are doing all of this. Let’s face it, the holidays are stressful.
There are so many reasons for stress this time of year. There are family dynamics that come up that haven’t been dealt with since last year. Maybe you come from a divorced family, or you have a sibling who isn’t talking to anyone, or a loved one that has passed away, or your family is across the county or world that you won’t see. Maybe your stress is financial. Possibly you lost your job, got your hours cut, lost your home. It’s hard to explain to your kids why Santa isn’t bringing them as many presents as the other kids in their class. Or maybe you’re just way to busy with all of your commitments that you don’t have any time to enjoy your family. You’re spending so much time helping here, and planning that event, and attending this party, that you are running yourself exhausted. And then there is the stress us women put on ourselves to do everything “perfect”. Her house is bigger and it’s decorated better, that’s why she can throw a party and I can’t. How can she get thru the Holidays without gaining 10 pounds? Listen up, there is no super-mom! Just because your friend and her kids did breakfast with Santa while your family stayed home in their pj’s watching cartoons does not make you a bad mom.
We can’t control all the people and crazy stuff going on around us. What we can control is how we view it. No matter who you are, we all have stressful shit to deal with this time of year. Don’t let it drag you down! Put your focus on what’s really important and what matters to you. Make your own happy memories!
For me, it doesn’t feel Christmas until when we have our all day cookie baking and decorating day. I grew up doing this every year with my mom, brother and sister. Now I’m doing it with my family. No matter how busy we are, I always clear an entire day for us to do this family tradition. It makes a huge mess, it’s a lot of work , and my kids love it! And I love watching them love it. It’s so much fun for me watching my kids do the exact same thing I did as a child.
During the holidays, I’m reminded that my parents are divorced and that my family lives across the country and I will not see them. This is extremely hard for me! I’m very close with my family. I cry like a little child several times a year because I miss them so much. I’m also reminded that my husband’s sister and her family won’t be attending the Christmas celebration because they don’t want to see any of us (even though they live 20 minutes away). Also, that my family doesn’t have enough of an expendable income to pay $50 a child to have breakfast with Santa, or go see the Nutcracker, take a cruise or go to Disney, or buy my 5 year old a rocking horse (why would a 5 year old want a rocking horse anyway? Isn’t she too big?). And that can be stressful right? But I choose to have a positive attitude! I make a really big deal out of our baking day, and watching The Grinch while we all share a blanket and popcorn. I make seeing Santa at the mall the biggest event ever! And you know what? When we went to see Santa at the mall, there was no line and no one behind us. My daughter sat with Santa for 15 minutes just talking and he read her a book. I asked one of the guys if this is normal. He said he has never seen a line shorter than a 30 minute wait. How cool for us!
Make a big deal out of the small stuff. Make your kids the most important part of the Holidays. Screw all the stress and drama! Yes, all the stress is real and can be very heavy on your heart. But don’t let that define your entire Holiday season. See the magic of Christmas thru the eyes of a child and have fun!