Few things can strike terror into the seasoned heart of this veteran mommy. Spiders, snakes, rats, bats, fevers, broken bones that jut from the body at odd angles, parental disapproval, the speculum, root canals, wait...perhaps it's more than a few. But seriously, even though a lot of things make me tremor in my Doc Martens, the holidays just don't make the list.
Why, you ask incredulously? Well, I'll share my tips with you. Cuz ya know, as we've discussed before, I'm awesome like that.
Here's 10 tips to show how I survive the holidays with my sanity intact.
1, Remember, 90% of your holidays will be spent with family. If they can't love you despite lumpy gravy and hair you didn't have time to blow dry out, then boohoo for them. I know I say that jokingly, but the truth is, family loves you. Lumpy gravy and all.
2, Creating holiday traditions and memories requires you to be in the moment, not supervising it for perfection from arm's length. BE there during the holiday, not a million miles away wondering if you bought enough butter to bake the cookies.
3, Let it snow! And you know what, I'm not talking about actual snow here. The saying, "Let is snow, let it snow, let it snow" gives the reigns to nature. And that's what you should do too. Let it snow. Let it roll right off your back. Things happen. Cookies burn, sisters in law make snotty comments, kids have meltdowns. Let it snow.
4, The holidays come every year. What you don't get to do this year (host that open house) you can try for in another 12 months. Keep your calendar uncluttered so you can enjoy the moments that really matter. No one truly notices if you skip 1 or 2 of the 20 invitations you receive.
5, Tell your children no. You tell them no the other 11 months of the year. They ought to be used to it. Don't feel as though you must approve everything simply so they have a memorable season. You're raising them 12 months a year, stick to it.
6, While you're on the "No" kick, tell your friends and family and co-workers no too. You can't do it all. Don't over-commit yourself, because it'll only make you crazy. Learn how to kindly refuse and you'll save yourself a lot of sanity.
7, Hold your routines. If your kids don't drink soda any day but the weekend, don't begin allowing it at Tuesday night get togethers. Kids need their routines to keep themselves in control. If you get all willy nilly, so will they.
8, Order Christmas cards early. That way you can get them addressed and stamped and ready to sit in a pile for a few weeks until it's time to send them. You can get some adorable Christmas cards from Tiny Prints.com, check out this info about their selection:
"Tiny Prints provides stylish, modern and unique stationery from photo cards to personalized greeting cards to thank you cards and business cards. Offering exclusive designs from the nation’s top designers, easy card personalization, a powerful preview engine and top-notch customer service and paper quality, their designs have been lauded by numerous television networks, publications and celebrities. With Tiny Prints by your side the Holidays will be a cinch! They offer adorable Thanksgiving Cards, Christmas Cards, Hanukkah Cards, and even New Years Cards. All fully customizable and personalizable."
9, Participate in things fully. I know I touched on that above, but it bears repeating. Too often we get wrapped up in worrying about how much we're doing, and we miss out on the actual doing. This happened to us in Disney World a few years ago. We were so focused on running from ride to ride we nearly missed out on some of the quiet fun moments (like hidden Mickey hunting!).
10, See the holidays through your children's eyes. After all, so much of what we do each year revolves around them. How are they seeing the celebration? Take the same joy in these moments as they are, and I promise you'll be having the greatest season ever!
I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Tiny Prints blogging program, making me eligible to get a $75 Tiny Prints gift certificate! For more information on how you can participate, click here.