You know those people that start counting down the number of weeks until Christmas in July and don’t mind holiday decorations making appearances in stores before Halloween? Yeah, that’s not me. In fact, I’m kind of a bah humbug mom. I took to social media last year and posted about how tired the holidays make me. I got some great advice about how to keep this time of year simple. There were tons of thoughtful comments about only doing the most important things, remembering the reason for the season, scaling down. So I gave myself a pep talk and tried it.
I learned that our minimum is still a lot. Here’s what we have going on this time of year: my husband’s birthday, usually 2 Thanksgivings, our wedding anniversary, 3-4 Christmas’s, New Years, my birthday, aaaand I feel like I’m probably forgetting something. I have 2 sets of parents and in-laws. Because we have a large family, even if we only celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas it is still a full schedule. Our families live close enough where we do get to celebrate with each one. Plus so far since having kids I have insisted on having Christmas morning at home.
Maybe it will be less stressful when our kids get a tad bit older. Right now they are 2 and 4. Containing the crazy seems to be easier at our own house, but usually we end up at our parents’ homes for the holiday gatherings. Taking 2 young kids to someone else’s house, getting them off their schedule, having them hyped up on sweets because no matter how many times I say they have had enough someone will sneak them another cookie, and making sure they aren’t destroying the house in their sugar-filled, nap-deprived craze is exhausting. We don’t do that just once but about half a dozen times!
Really though, we only get the chance for all that to happen if we are healthy enough to show up. It’s like as soon as November arrives we are all in an epic losing battle for our health until spring. You know how kids get up early on Christmas morning? Well one year for us was because we never went to sleep. We were up all night with a sick baby. Another time ALL FOUR of us had the stomach flu on Christmas morning. Our Christmas meal was seriously chicken noodle soup. Another year I had a weirdo allergic reaction to something that swelled my eyelids shut. I probably won’t ever forget about the 2 separate years I was pregnant, and the smell of meat would instantly make me throw up.
I realize I may sound ungrateful. Really I’m not though. I love and appreciate our families. I WANT to see them and celebrate with everyone. They are so generous and fun. It’s just that all of this holiday stuff is happening in such a concentrated amount of time while I’m keeping my regular work schedule, and we are trying to keep our home running. We still try, you know, to do things like make sure everyone has clean clothes to wear.
I. Just. Get. So. Tired.
I know the holidays and this time while my kids are little is precious, but I just feel like we are too busy to enjoy any of it. So the holiday season is upon us again, and I am giving myself the same pep talk from last year. I am going to count my blessings. I am going to appreciate my family. I am going to have a better attitude, and for the love of all things holy I am going to keep everyone loaded up on vitamin C!
Wish me luck!