I always think it’s wild how much time and effort goes into all the holiday prep, only to be destroyed in an hour of gift opening. At least that’s how it runs down in my house. And then we leave for family gatherings for the next 2 days. And then that’s it – it’s over. So I thought I’d share with you what I do (or don’t do) in the lead up to Christmas so I can feel that this modern mom survived the holidays.
Since we live with a very busy weekly schedule at the best of times I try to jam the extra shopping in on the Sundays when the girls are with my mother-in-law (Nanny). It worked pretty well, although we did have to take one family trip to the mall. And that went better than expected. I guess now that my girls are older (you know, 5 and 8 older) we can split up (one parent with one kid, then swap) and get gifts for the girls from each other, and gifts for mom and dad separately. I was actually done before hubby!
Every year I think “we’ll buy less gifts this year!” I can’t be the only mom who does this. Of course that never happens. You start off really well but then you see something great, or someone you weren’t planning on wants to meet up to exchange gifts, and you have to grab something else. I do my best to avoid this by keeping wine on hand. That’s a great gift for anyone (of legal drinking age), especially if you’re invited to a dinner or something! And this year we booked a trip to Cuba for March Break. So definitely less gifts. But then we have to do something to remind the kids we’re going on vacation – so new swimsuits and a carry on bag for the airplane!
At least I (mostly) enjoy wrapping – that’s a quiet way to spend an evening with a glass of wine. Until it’s Christmas eve and hubby is still shopping and expecting you to wrap yet more gifts. But on the flip side he likes taking the kids with him shopping, so that’s a big plus. With the kids out of my hair occasionally I can say this mom survived the holidays!
I have never created a turkey dinner. I’m not ashamed to admit that. Never has there been Christmas (or Thanksgiving) dinner in my home. And I’m very happy about that. Not hosting the big dinner is a definite way you can say this modern mom survived the holidays. I can’t imagine the stress of having a bunch of people trying to gather around my table, or cooking that much food in my tiny kitchen. I’m very, very happy to leave the turkey and all the fixins to the experts – my mom and hubby’s mom (and sisters)!
And then there’s the baking. I like baking. I don’t like being in a time-crunch. This year I did no baking. Emma did get some baking done at Nanny’s this year, so she’s not totally missing out. Last year I made some chocolate treats and I loved them but not everyone else did. I felt a bit like it was a lot of work if only I’m going to enjoy them.
As a working mom I try really hard to not alter my schedule too much. Mostly this is because it can get hairy at work in the weeks leading up to Christmas and I don’t want to leave my co-workers in the lurch. But there are also a lot of things that go on in December that you’re supposed to go to. Kids have fun fairs or pageants at school, dance classes have a viewing week, there are Christmas parades to attend, and presents need to be delivered to friends and family. Plus you have to write letters to Santa (confession: we didn’t do this this year) plus visit him in the mall with your kids dressed to the nines and on their best behaviour – ya right!
I will admit I skipped my dance class a few times this month. Mainly because I’ve had the cold from hell and the coughing makes it hard to do anything, let alone ballet dancing! But I used one of those nights to get some last gifts I’d been thinking about. That was nice until I got a text from Nanny telling me Emma wasn’t feeling well. So I went home and sure enough she was sick. So much so I had to take the next day off so she could stay home from school.
Does anyone make time for housework as the holidays approach? I mean I’m a lackadaisical housekeeper at the best of times, but there is so much less time around the holidays! I do the bare minimum to survive, and I nag everyone else to help me out. It sometimes works.
This year my parents came to visit with my grandmother the weekend before Christmas. Grandma’s birthday is on the 18th of Dec (and my Dad’s is on the 14th) so we routinely get together in the middle of the month. But this time it was at my house! I had to clear off the dining room table, uncover enough seats for everyone to visit comfortably, and buy some food. Thankfully they came for a lunch visit so I didn’t actually cook anything. We had a very nice visit and I was able to keep the house tidy right through til Christmas after that. So that worked out!
I want to hear how every other Modern Mom survived the holidays!
Leave me a comment about how your holidays went. Or if you had some epic fail that you want to share! We can all learn from each other, right? And Dads – please weigh in as well. I don’t want to be gender exclusive here! Parenting is very time consuming at the best of times, throw in these big deal holidays and sometimes life totally derails. I had to deal with head lice the week before Christmas on top of everything else. It’s just never ending!
I hope everyone had a great holiday!