Well the holidays are approaching for many different faiths and people’s spirits are lifting despite the ongoing global pandemic. This time of year brings fond memories of past holidays, anticipation of joy brought to loved ones through gift giving, and eating way too many scrumptious holiday treats. Through this haze of good cheer resides a stress monster sitting on the shoulders of those of us who bring holiday magic into our homes. I’m looking at you, moms.
I don’t know where the idea of the perfect holiday arose from, possibly that highly addicting site called Pinterest, but it has been causing moms inordinate amounts of stress every season. I start to feel the warm and fuzzy feelings associated with this magical time of year and then the stress monster rears its ugly head. My thoughts keep me up at night wondering will I be able to pull off another successful holiday for my children? I have so many gifts to buy, wrap, and hide from my kids. I want to make holiday treats but even those can be labor intensive and exhausting. I cannot stand decorating Christmas cookies after the first tray! I enlist the help of my children but they make more of a mess which I end up cleaning up. If you are feeling the stress of this season I have some tips that may make this “gasp” an enjoyable time of year.
Delegate, delegate, delegate. I often ask my husband to help purchase gifts and wrap said gifts. I am a terrible gift wrapper and it only stresses me out more. If you have teens they can certainly get their bake on which builds life skills and family connection. They can also help with gift wrapping which enlists creativity and empathy. If you write Christmas cards they can stuff envelopes. Young children love using a stamp wetter to close the envelopes. You also can have the entire family decorate the tree. You may need to let go of perfection regarding the look of the tree, gifts, and cookies. You have to ask yourself who are you trying to impress?
Moms make the magic happen but it doesn’t always have to be a one woman show. Practice self compassion, let go of unrealistic standards of perfection, and try to relax during this special time of year. If you are super bold you can take a year off and make your partner or another family member be in charge. Single moms have an even more difficult task because there may not be another adult to delegate tasks to and they often have financial stress. If you are reading this and you know of a single mom(s) volunteer to help her out but only after you have had a relaxing bubble bath! The same goes for single dads as well. I hope this is helpful to you and please take little moments just to be present during this time of year.