When the calendar hit December 1 I will admit that I freaked out.
Just a little bit.
How in the world is it already December and how is Christmas right around the corner?
Between the shopping and gift wrapping and the holiday card addressing and the school parties and that pesky Elf on the Shelf .. well, it’s enough to make anyone feel a bit on edge.
This state of mind is also known as: December.
We arrived home from our Thanksgiving vacation on November 28. By November 30 I was in full-blown freak out mode.
I knew that in the next 25 days I needed to do all of my Christmas shopping, create and order my Christmas cards, address those cards, create two photo books for my kids and one for my parents (seriously, who has time for actual scrapbooking anymore?), wrap Christmas presents, spend several nights in one week at dress rehearsal for The Nutcracker (my daughter is dancing in it this year), attend a performance of The Nutcracker, plan a classroom holiday party, and move that darn Elf every single night. This is in addition to my “regular duties” like cooking dinner, packing lunches, doing the laundry, and working.
So how am I handling the stress?
Well…I did buy a package of Holiday Oreos last week. And I’ve been hitting up the local coffee shop’s drive through. A lot. And there’s that bottle of wine in the ‘fridge. 😉
This is what I’ve decided – Rather than getting too stressed and feeling all BAH HUMBUG for the next few weeks (as I’m prone to do in December), I’ve decided to just let it go.
My husband and I finished all of our Christmas shopping in two hours on a Sunday morning. I took time out of my workday (I work at home) to wrap those gifts. I have actually scheduled time in my evening to complete that final photo book (seriously – it’s written in my calendar!). I throw in loads of laundry when I’m in the kitchen doing other stuff. I’ve actually done some shopping online (a rare occurrence for me), and at a certain time each evening I just turn it all off.
I walk away from my computer (as a work-at-home mom that’s really HARD to do!) and I head to my favorite reading spot with a cup of hot tea or hot cocoa and I read. I have a stack of magazines that I’m currently getting through. I also have a couple of books I’ve been trying to read for like a year. And if I’m too tired to read I’ll turn on the TV and watch something that won’t stress me out. Like the Travel Channel. Or the Food Network.
Honestly it’s all about me after about 8:30 each night.
And that my friends is how I’m planning on keeping it all together this holiday season. I’m of no use to anyone if I’m grumpy or Scrooge-like. My family will enjoy the holidays a lot more if mommy is in a good mood. So that’s my goal.
And if I’m lucky I also remember to move that darn Elf. 😉
How are you handling the stress during the holiday season? We’d love to hear your tips and tricks!