Being a mom at Christmas can be a totally draining experience. Let’s face it: everyone else talks about how magical the holiday is and you have the radio crooning about how it’s the “most wonderful time of the year.”
But those joyful Christmas experiences of your childhood have gone the way of the dodo and been replaced by stress and anxiety.
So this year, let’s make a resolution—one that’s only good for the month of December.
Let’s resolve to do everything we can to keep Christmas simple this year!
1. Let the kids handle the “heavy lifting”
We all know that the holidays are really about the kids and letting them make memories that will last for years to come. So, have them do as much as possible and take some of the stress off of you.
This year, set up the tree for them and then just sit back and watch while they decorate it. (Obviously, if you’ve got older kids and teenagers, they may even be able to do the tree set-up as well.) But just sit back on the couch and supervise while they hang their favorite ornaments and the stockings up
2. Go digital
Every year, I spend hours trying to sign and address individual Christmas cards to my friends and family. Not this year.
Join me in simplifying the holiday and go digital with your Christmas card. You can still take an updated family picture and use that for your card. But just send out an email/digital card and save yourself time, aggravation, and postage money. (And keep in mind: your friends will probably appreciate it just as much since they won’t have to worry about discarding the card. Hey, it’s even more environmentally friendly!)
3. Let someone else do the cooking
If you remember a childhood of wonderful homemade Christmas meals, please don’t feel like you have to live up to those. On the big day, there is no reason why you should be stuck in the kitchen trying to prepare a turkey or ham while everyone else is sitting in the family room playing with presents and watching TV
Instead, consider buying your holiday meal pre-made from a local restaurant or catering service. Then, all you have to do is warm it up and no one has to know the difference.
There is nothing wrong with gift cards
I’m really tired of people getting judgmental about gift cards. Usually, the complaints center around the belief that the card is impersonal. But really, they aren’t!
If you buy someone a gift that doesn’t fit, that they already have, or they just don’t like, then you have given them an extra job—having to trudge back to the mall and exchange it. But with gift cards, your gift recipient can buy whatever they want and will really appreciate the opportunity to pick up the perfect gift.
And that’s a level of stress that you just don’t need. I’ve spent many a day at the mall freaking out about whether a gift was “just right.” This year, I’m cutting out that stress and letting them find the gift that is best for them.