I love me some Christmas. It’s the one holiday I feel all sorts of magical nostalgia. One song, one wiff of a live pine tree, one sip of a cup of hot chocolate shoots me right back to my grandma’s house where the fireplace was raging and the snow was packed solid on the lawn.
Since having kids, all those things just make me an emotional lunatic.
Don’t get me wrong, I still get the warm fuzzies this time of year. But I also get the “holy shit, I’m never going to make this season as awesome as the one I grew up with” guilt. I see these moms all over social media doing incredible things with their kids the entire month of December. And I have real-life Pinterest parents in my friend circle whose kids are clearly going to have a much more memorable Christmas than mine because … crafting.
Who knew a cup of hot chocolate could make you feel like such a failure? So, before I get in the weeds and legitimately ruin the season for my kids by being a stresscase paralyzed with guilt and remorse, I’ve come up with a few tips to keep this month as awesome for you and your kids as you remember it being:
- No Expectations. My best friend (who is a real-life Pinterest mom), told me, “You have kids now. Throw out your expectations of how vacations and holidays will go.” It’s the best advice anyone has ever given me. It doesn’t mean I can’t plan fun things to do or establish traditions. It does mean, however, that being flexible and learning to enjoy the experience, no matter what, is the key to creating the best memories when we’re together with our kids.
- Say no. We can’t please everyone. And if I really want to create space for meaningful experiences to happen with my family, I have to protect the time we have together. Saying no to some invitations means saying yes to the possibility of making a memory.
- Pace Yourself. Here’s the thing, my oldest is only two. We’re still figuring out what our family traditions are. I’m ok with that because it means we have plenty of room for the kids to be a part of those decisions as they get older.
- East Coast NYE. The best thing we’ve done is host our neighborhood friends for an east coast celebration of New Years Eve. The kiddos run around while us adults eat dinner/drink. When the clock hits 9:00 p.m., we cheers one another and everyone runs home to throw their kids in bed. We all get to celebrate together, it’s safe, our kids are in bed at a decent hour and then we still have time with our spouses after to … Netflix. You’re welcome.
This cup of hot chocolate is already tasting sweeter. Sending my love and crossing my fingers Pinterest crashes from now until January 2. Merry Christmas Motherluckers!