Surviving the Holidays


Ah, Christmas. That special time of year. Great food. Holiday traditions. Memory making. Spending time with family and loving every minute of it. But does it always turn out exactly the way we want it to? And do we REALLY enjoy all the time spent making sure that the rest of the family has a great Christmas?

Here’s my honest opinion on this holiday season:

cookiesI hate baking. But Christmas cookies (and fudge, and brownies, etc) are something the kids love to make and deliver to the neighbors and close friends. Maybe I’m getting OCD in my old age, but watching the kids make a huge mess on the kitchen table with flour, frosting and 50, 000 different types of sprinkles gives me hives. We’ll still do it, because they love it and I love them. But…Christmas stress.

alvinI used to have so much fun, the first couple of years, with Alvin, our Elf on the Shelf. But that sucker arrives the day after Thanksgiving and stays through Christmas Eve. That’s a whole lot of Alvin antics to plot out. And with the kids getting older, and not playing with toys much anymore, Alvin’s bag of tricks is sadly depleted. Little Guy is seven years old and still believes that Alvin is magical. So I struggle to come up with inventive ways to delight him each morning. And that leads to…Christmas stress.

stockingsWe needed new stockings this year because the names were becoming unreadable on our old ones. I found some at Target and bought each of us our own color. I figured if I ended up not having the nerve to attempt to glitter glue our names on them then at least we’d know whose was whose by color. I ended up attempting the names. They came out pretty good – until I realized I wrote Big Sis’ name on MY pink stocking. And then, while they were nowhere near dry, Little Guy managed to ruin every single one of them. My fault for leaving them on the kitchen table to dry. We have brand new stockings, less legible than the ones I threw away for that very reason. Next year I will pay big bucks to get some professionally personalized stockings. And save myself some huge…Christmas stress.

One day? How about a good FIVE weeks?

Now everyone is home from work and school for the next two weeks. I planned a mini-vaca for a few days after Christmas. But for now I’ve got to keep them all entertained, keep the house from getting trashed, keep the kids from killing each other and keep myself from hiding at the bottom of a bottle of wine until after the New Year. I hate Christmas stress!

Please tell me I’m not the only over-achieving, Martha Stewart screw-up. Anyone else have holiday horror stories they’d like to share? Bring me a Christmas giggle or two. I bet it bring everyone who reads this post just a little bit of Christmas cheer to know they are not in this alone.

About Jennifer DeCuir

I write small town contemporary romance for Crimson Romance. Busy mom of two, I live for (or is it on?) coffee and chocolate.
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4 Responses to Surviving the Holidays

  1. Kathleen Shaputis says:

    You poor thing – says the empty wallet, empty nest but one grandson woman. No money for baking, gifting and such which actually involves a whole other stress. Not liking this year of no ho-ho-ho, but keep trying to impress upon myself the rest and peace makes up for the decades of holiday mayhem of the past. For Alvin, I think it would be easier to search for various appropriate images on the internet and make a list of 33 choices. Then each day you just mark off from the list. Morning imagination does sound too stressful. The stocking fiasco does sound really rough, though. Glitter glue is very tempting to touch.

    • Everyone has their own set of problems they are dealing with – at Christmas and any other time of the year. This is just my own set. And I’m not saying I’m not grateful for what I do have. Every year, just a few days before Christmas, I seem to reach my threshold, where the magic of Christmas turns into the hassle of the holiday. I probably should have kept it to myself and not tried to laugh it off. Planning ahead on the Alvin ideas is great. I’ve been stealing ideas off FB as I see them, but the searches I’ve done on Pinterest yielded things I’d done before (or couldn’t do due to lack of Star Wars toys, etc.) Thanks for commenting. 🙂

  2. I wish I could say I let the holiday stress roll off my back and simply enjoy the season but for those gifts too numerous to buy (the ones that do go in the oven) there never seems to be enough time! Or ingredients, runs out of powdered sugar, or not enough eggs. Of course the store is nearly ten miles away and packed! Ugh!
    But…there’s nothing worse than being forced to take down the Christmas tree on Christmas morning because middle child couldn’t wait and crawled around underneath like a rabid squirrel. Not only did she open ALL the gifts, but managed to knock the tree down, scatter trimming and break ornaments before propping the tree up in the corner! So while I slapped the turkey in the oven, I also took all the decorations down and packed away. AND try to calm the other kids who were simply handed their gifts from a discarded pile on the floor. Such a memorable day for sure!
    Hope the wine holds out. LOL. And have a wonderful holiday while making memories.

  3. Lola Karns says:

    I am so glad I never started Elf on a Shelf. Photos friends share of what they come up with give me contact-anxiety. I love baking. It is one of the few ways I find to relax during all of the holiday stress. My hint for sprinkle clean-up – cookie sheets and parchment paper. We’ll get through this chaos and our kiddos will remember the magic, and if not the magic, then they will laugh at the chaos.

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