Taking It Easy This Holiday Season: A Break From The Hoopla

Every year, it seems the holiday season gets here faster and faster, and folks are throwing up those trees and wreaths sooner and sooner. 

Don’t get me wrong. I love SO much about this time of year. I love the lights, the decorations, the food, the smells, the holiday movies, and the extra time with my husband and kids over break. With all that fun though, comes a lot of expectations and stress-especially if you’re a mom that already feels worn out by the everyday. And if you’re also a mom who has anxiety and/or ADHD, like I do-forget about it! 

See, what seems to come easy for so many other moms, just doesn’t come that easy for me. I have always wished I could be that, “Holiday Pinterest Mom” who does all of the activities, baking and projects, and heaven knows I have tried! At the end of the day, that’s just not who I am.

When it comes down to it, the holiday season OVERWHELMS me. I often feel like the scrooge in my circle, because instead of getting excited over all of the holiday plans getting thrown at me, I panic. I can feel all the pressure of juggling the calendar, hosting, list making, organizing, shopping, cooking, traveling, and activity planning coming at me like a freight train. I shut down and I don’t want to do ANY of it. As much as I try to hide that side of myself from my kids; I know they feel that energy.

SO, this year I have decided to stop the facade I put on every holiday season to please everyone outside of my home, or to create an image of what the holiday season is “supposed” to look like. This year, I want to find the balance of making sure my children feel so much of the traditional holiday magic, while also creating our own kinds of non-traditional magic.

After a whole lot of thought and soul searching, our holiday memories this year will now or continue to include:

Holiday movies and (pre-packaged) snacks and popcorn. And we can’t forget ALL of the snuggles, fuzzy blankets and pillows that go along with!

Giving to those in need. My gift giving will focus on the children in my life, and those children who might not get presents otherwise. I’m so lucky that the other adults in my life agree with this sentiment too! 

One Christmas tree! The other three can stay in the attic! I won’t be pulling down every tub and decoration this year. Lovely and understated is this years’ theme!

Less running around town to try and fit in every single holiday activity at the risk of FOMO. Sometimes the best memories are made at home, watching movies, playing board games, and snuggling by the fire….when the Oklahoma weather cooperates, of course.

Limited cooking! There is NO shame in ordering that turkey and/or ham (or anything else) from a local resturaunt. I wish I would have started years ago…..

And finally, LIMITED family and other holiday gatherings. Saying NO and having boundaries to protect your mental health and personal time is OKAY, friends! Giving yourself the gift of peace is sometimes the best thing you can give yourself (and those around you) during the holidays.

And even with scaling back this season, I still know that I’m an AWESOME mom without all of the extra holiday hoopla. I now know that the best thing I can give my family during the holidays is a more present and at peace wife and mother. We’re going to do less, but we will be getting so much MORE. 

And if you’re that, “Holiday Pinterest Mom”-you go, girl! I have no judgements and ALL the envy. Also, can I have one of those batteries you’re running on?! Please…..

Thank You & Bah Humbug.

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Natalie Commander
Natalie is a native Oklahoman, born and raised! She married her husband, Cody, in 2012, and they have two human daughters and two dog sons. She is a former teacher, and now helps her husband around his counseling practice. She has a B.A.Ed. in English Ed, and a M.A. in Literature, both from UCO. When she isn't running around her two daughters to their MANY activities, she enjoys reading, writing, upcycling old furniture, vacationing, being the most obnoxious cheer mom she can be, snacking, and trying to control her sarcasm and RBF.


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