I am just going to come right out and say it.
The holidays can be hard. It isn’t that I don’t like celebrating the holidays, but I would be lying if I said I don’t often feel overwhelmed by the parental pressures (most of which are self-inflicted) that I feel go hand in hand with baking gingerbread cookies and drinking hot cocoa.
I want this time of year to be burned into my kid’s memories as a magical time full of joy and fun and love and light. But, the stress and cost associated with finding the time for all the activities, parties, and “holiday traditions” can leave me feeling like the Grinch. I wish I could spend the entire month of December visiting Santa, wrapping gifts, decorating the tree and baking cookies. But sadly, I have other responsibilities too. So this year, it’s time to prioritize and focus on events that really give me a bang for my warm fuzzy memories buck. Rather than trying to do it all, I am going to pick and chose and cut corners where I can. Most importantly, I am going to scale back and learn to say no. Here are a few places I am trimming the stress while still trying to spread the holiday cheer:
I love sending our annual Christmas card! But, this year we moved to a new house and I need to update people with our new address. Usually, I schedule a time to meet with a photographer and get the kids all dressed up in order to capture that perfect photo. This year, I am using one of the thousands of great photos I took this year instead and saving myself the time and money. I am also ordering post cards instead of regular cards which will save me money on postage, and time on stuffing envelopes.
I love seeing the beautiful Christmas lights hung around the neighborhood, but this year we just don’t have time to dedicate an entire weekend to hanging lights all over the house. A couple of years ago, we made a life size Grinch for the front yard who looked like he was stealing the lights off the house, just like in the movie. One string of lights and we are fully decorated; minimal effort. If we have the time, we can go see other light displays around town. Check out this map of all the best places in town, HERE.
Christmas Tree Right-Sizing
Every year that I have known my husband we have always bought these huge, 12-14 foot Christmas trees. Not only is this expensive, but it takes so much time to decorate a tree that size. This year, we are purchasing a permit from the Forest Service and cutting our own smaller, more reasonably sized tree. I am super excited for this because I think the kids will love the adventure of “hunting” for our very own.