How This Modern Mom Survived the Holidays

Modern mom survived the holdays

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.


mom survived the holidaysSince 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.


Mom survived the holidaysAs 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!  

mom survived the holidaysLeave 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!


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  1. Hi Jess, I survive Christmas as we do have a quiet one. One of the pluses of island living I think! Christmas here isn’t as manic as the UK and the celebrations are slightly different. Traditionally the Father Christmas equivalent comes to the Greek homes tonight, although Christmas is celebrated too.

    I am so lucky that I don’t have a major list of people to buy for and tend to keep gift buying for immediate family and one family friend who I’ve known since I was a child. The children are of an age when I ask them straight what they would like, I hate wasting money on things they don’t want.

    As for housework?.. Life is too short at the best of times, although the bathroom did have a really good going over just before Christmas and it’s just been maintained since…

    Wishing you and yours all the best for 2017 and thank you for supporting the #MMBC.


    1. It’s so nice when you can really enjoy the holiday instead of feeling like you have to be hosting all the time. I long for the day my in-laws decide we don’t have to do gift exchanges – it’s often a bunch of nice stuff, but stuff that I don’t really need. I’d rather just get together, spend some time and eat some good food.
      I wish you all the best in the new year Deb!

  2. We had a low key Christmas and it was fab! My large family were away and so we had already had a pre Christmas with all the trimmings at my mums a few weeks early, so Christmas day was small and relaxing. I have stopped my link up until Feb 6th just to give me a break as the kids are on holidays and I need some down time. Happy New Year lovely xx #FabFriday

    1. We’ve done “early” Christmas’s in the past. It’s nice to let some of the hustle-bustle go and just really enjoy the people you’re with when you’re with them. Good for you for taking a break with your linky. I’ll look forward to joining up again in Feb!

  3. We had a quiet one this year. We went to our friends house on Christmas Eve and eat out with another friends on Boxing day. My OH does most of the cooking when we are in so I can just chill and relax with that. We have a dishwasher so I don’t have to worry about washing that up too. I did a bit of hovering when the kids goes while with presents and all and that’s about it. 🙂 Great tips on how to survive the holidays I like quiet festivities. Thank you for linking up with us on #FabFridayPost Have a wonderful New Year 2017!! xx

    1. Seems quiet was the way to go this year! All my commenters have shared that with me. I need to find a way to make my holidays more low-key. There’s a lot of family on my hubby’s side so there’s always a huge gather and gifts and all that. I’d love to bypass the gift exchange but they’re not ready to do that yet. I do enjoy that I don’t have to host much. That really saves my stress levels! Thanks for the comment and all the best in the new year. 🙂

  4. I usually go a bit crazy before xmas. Decorating, cleaning, preparing. This year I was sick so I had to take a back seat and it was great. I didn’t stress. The presents got wrapped the night before and opened in the morning. We saw my Mum. I cooked a roast chicken dinner. We saw my Dad on boxing day. I didn’t even set a table this year. We ate off our laps and it was great! Sarah #FabFridayPost

    1. Sorry to hear you were sick Sarah! But good that you got a break from all the crazy pre-Christmas business. Sometimes doing the bare minimum is definitely enough. I’d glad you enjoyed your Christmas despite your illness. All the best for the new year!

  5. Each year I think this is going to be the year that I’ll do less and enjoy the holidays more. I think that Christmas will be fun and less stressful… and yet that never happens. I try to shop early, eliminate gifts where I can, w even stopped hosting meals for the most part… but I still stress and go crazy!

  6. I really, really, really don’t like to shop, so I mainly order online or shop in October and early November before the busy season. That way I can focus on the fun of the season. Thanks for sharing at the #ThisIsHowWeRoll Link Party.

  7. I tend to prioritize and keep living spaces tidy and clothes clean but the garden, bedrooms, and other bits just slide… there’s only so much you can do! I” thinking we might spend Christmas with someone else next year too. Let them worry about the cooking! Haha #EatSleepBlogRT

  8. This year we really did buy less gifts (had too, fact of life and banking!) and you know what, they didn’t even notice. It’s all about the making of memories…thank goodness we had some nice ones together. Great post! All too true! #eatsleepblogRT xoxox

  9. We had a quieter one this year as Mr Pud and I only had 2 days off for festivities around our shifts! We also managed not go overboard on presents which made a change. We did make the most of our two days though and the ids loved being at home! #eatsleepblogrt

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