Maintain your zen during the holidays.
Christmas can be equal parts magic and mania if we aren’t careful. As moms, we can often fall into the “have I done enough” spiral, and we end up running around like Mrs. McCallister from Home Alone – and nobody wants that.
You know that saying, “it’s funny because it’s true”? Well, if you’ve ever watched National Lampoons Christmas Vacation, you know that Christmas can be stressful… really stressful. Family, decorations, presents, Santa, cooking, the pressure is on, Momma. The best way to tackle the most wonderful time of the year is to breathe, think ahead, and try your best not to over promise.
Take family, for example. In Christmas Utopia, we want everyone to get along, or at the very least, be civil. But Christmas Utopia only exists on the Hallmark Channel, so it’s probably best to have some ideas in mind for quelling la familia.
This is where you can kill two birds with one stone instead of killing your family members. If the family starts to get rowdy, having activities available for them to do can help aleviate the tension, and the best way to finish the Christmas decorations is to get the family engaged. Occupy the family and relieve the stress by working together to bring the holiday cheer.
If you have littles at home, planning for Santa is a must. But even more important is planning for the Elf, because I know I’m not the only mom to wake up in a cold sweat because I forgot to move the darn Elf.
Luckily, this year, Elfie is arriving in a glass “bubble” otherwise known as a mason jar, because he needs to quarantine for 14 days after being around all those other elves. You’re welcome Momma, small victories. This will give you plenty of time to a) sleep, and b) plan what holiday hijinks your Elf will be up to once he or she is free.
The other major thing to plan ahead for is the menu. I’ve learned the hard way that less is more. Inevitably everyone thinks Mom is the Head Chef at Burger King and they can have everything their way, but no. Christmas is your holiday too, so plan the main dish or dishes, and keep the trimmings easy.
This isn’t the Last Supper – the family can survive without yams this year, and there’s no need to reinvent the cheese wheel. Cook with love, lick the spoon, make your grocery list and check it twice, and stick to your menu. This way, you can shop ahead of time, and cook at your own pace.
Lastly, are the gifts under the tree. We stress so much about the gifts we give our loved ones. Did we spend enough? Did we put enough thought into it? Was I fair with each kid? You know you won’t hear the last of it if Jimmy gets more than Sally – I can feel the eye rolls.
The best way to avoid Christmas guilt of presents not purchased or buyers remorse for that not-so-great idea, is to make a list for each person, and add potential gifts ideas to each persons list. Set a dollar amount, so you don’t stress after Christmas, and shop early.
This ensures that you can have a calm evening of gift wrapping and Prosecco with Christmas Utopia playing quietly on the Hallmark Channel as you smile to yourself on Christmas Eve, because you did it. You won this Christmas.