Are you dreading the holiday season?! Under too much pressure to visit relatives, buy the best gifts, wear the perfect outfit, and cook the best meal? If you’re in a blended family, are you struggling with the custody schedule… are you [like me] devastated you won’t see your kids this Christmas?!
If any of this sounds familiar, keep reading! I’ve compiled my top tips for helping you survive the next few weeks.
ONE: Don’t go into debt buying presents. “It’s the thought that counts” really needs to be your motto. Just think about it… if you go into debt (especially without a full-proof plan to pay it all off quickly… like in January), you’re going to be even more stressed after Christmas with that debt hanging over your head. You don’t need to buy everyone you’ve ever made eye contact with a gift. Do yourself a favor, print some cute, super-cheap Christmas cards off at Walgreens.com (Same day pick-up! It’s not too late!), and mail them to your relatives and closest friends. That’s all most of them need… not to mention, your older relatives will appreciate a traditional Christmas card more than you know. It’s the thought that counts!
TWO: Stop feeling obligated to see everyone. It is not in the Christmas Rulebook that you must sit down to watch a football game with your third-cousin at some point in December. Especially if you have kids, traveling for the holidays can be a nightmare… and hosting can be even worse! If you’re like me and have a family who hosts 12 different events just so they don’t have to see each other, just bow out of it all. It’s not worth the stress to try and show up to every function. Focus on your nuclear family… focus on your kids! In the same essence of “don’t go into debt buying presents,” the best gift you can give your family [every day] is your undivided attention!
THREE: Take the pressure off of “the day.” If you do not have the perfect Christmas morning, with the kids running down the stairs to the smell of bacon and the energy of the Christmas spirit, don’t worry about it! Many of you are struggling because you won’t see your kids on Christmas. I have great news- your kids do not care if they open presents with you on 12/25 or not! In fact, they’d prefer to do it ASAP! Whatever your traditions are, pick an earlier day you will have the kids, and rock it out. On Christmas Day, find something else to do with your spouse or family! My husband and I won’t have our kids this year for Christmas, so we’re taking a mini-vacation to NYC! If your issue isn’t a blended family one- if you’re simply stressed over all the days expectations and activities- relax! Cut yourself a break! You know most of your best life-moments are the ones that didn’t turn out how you planned.
So to all of my Mama friends out there who are distraught over what the next several weeks will hold, let’s shift your perspective and focus on what is really important. Spend solid, intentional time with your nuclear family through the rest of the year. Worry less about the Pinterest Perspective of Christmas, and more on what is good for the soul. You don’t have to wear the perfect holiday outfit and cook the perfect holiday meal to be the best Mom and Wife in the world. You’re already doing it!
Live a simple, stress free rest of 2017. You’ve got this, Mama’s!