I’m a mom of two littles and this time of year is always crazy. My daughter’s birthday falls literally two weeks before Christmas and I’m always scrambling up to Christmas Eve wrapping presents and shipping out packages to out of state friends and family.
This year, I have decided to take it all in stride. And stay within my limits. Here are five ways I plan to keep calm and enjoy the holidays.
1. FORGO the Christmas Cards
Yes, I said it. Just don’t do them. It is the most freeing thing in the whole world to not have to place that order, write a personalized note, then address and stamp them. If you have a few close friends and family who want a photo of you and your kids, then make that their gift. Go on Shutterfly, Mpix, or Snapfish and create a cute collage framed photo and have it shipped directly to them. Everyone else – well, you will just have to stay tuned on social media, because that’s where I update everyone on everything anyway.
2. Trim the Christmas Gift List
If you haven’t hung out with me or had an actual conversation with me (yes, like on the phone – talking to me, not texting), you will not be receiving a gift this year. Also, if you are a mom friend of mine you will either be getting a bottle of wine or a Starbucks e-gift card, because let’s face it – those are the only two things getting us through life at the moment.
Thankfully I am a work-at-home mom this year so my “boss” and “co-workers” happen to be myself and my kiddos and they are already getting presents under the tree. But if you are a working mama, feel free to treat that special co-worker (you know the one who is always letting you slide when you come in 10 minutes late and doesn’t give you dirty looks when applying your make-up at your desk) to a nice lunch out together one day – outside the office walls – where you can have a good conversation and laugh together. No gift wrap needed!
3. Be a Minimalist With the Décor
We hung a wreath outside our front door that lights up at night and bought a new snowman welcome mat from Target. Those two items are what will be our “exterior Christmas décor” this year. This is the second year in a row we won’t be hanging outside lights. I would rather focus on what’s inside my house since that is what I see more of. It’s one or the other in my mind. It also makes my husband very happy that he doesn’t have to spend extra time putting them up or taking them down. (Happy husbands tend to give better presents – HINT.)
4. Choose ONE or TWO Christmas Traditions for Your Family
Don’t feel like you have to do something everyday that looks like Pinterest. If you aren’t a baker, then just go to Publix and buy some awesome desserts instead of making them. If you would rather have an artificial tree then don’t worry about treking out to a tree farm. Pick one or two special traditions that work for YOUR family and let that be it.
5. Treat YOURSELF Like a Princess for a Day (or at Least a Couple of Hours)
As moms, we are always giving ourselves – all year round. Remember to gift yourself some time to do something you enjoy or love. Hire a sitter for an afternoon to go get a pedicure or see a movie. Leave the kids with Dad for an evening to have cocktails with your girlfriends. Have your little ones go outside for some playtime so you can enjoy a cup of coffee and the latest issue of the Magnolia Journal. It isn’t about spending money, it’s about taking care of YOU this holiday season.