Heads up: I wrote this post as part of my participation in a blog tour for The Motherhood on behalf of the makers of Children’s MOTRIN® and received compensation to thank me for taking the time to participate. However, all opinions expressed are my own.
This is the moment when I pull out phrases like “Oh lordy” because husband gone on a business trip plus child sick plus other child freaking out plus a random Tuesday off (WTF school district!) plus too much work equals one exhausted me. Then my friend mentioned there are only seven Saturdays until Christmas.
But never fear because I have kind of cracked the code for a sane holiday. When I follow these ten tips I get all zen like and feel no need to bring out the lordyness. So read on my friends, read on.
1. Tone down the gift giving: whether you follow the wear/read/want/need rule or some other method (we personally have the girls just ask for one thing from Santa), don’t stress out over gifts. Your kids honestly don’t care and
2. Plan out big dinners ahead of time: Take a minute now and write down all the meals you will be dealing with over the next couple of months. What can you do to make them easier? I like to use tried and true recipes and buy all the dry ingredients in one big trip. Just these two things make life so much more sane.
3. Leave your light clips up: So simple, just leave those clips up year round. No one can see them and it make next year’s lights way more simple. It’s a little thing but so awesome.
4. Establish traditions: My sister and her husband did something really smart a couple of years ago. They each made a list of their top ten things that made the holidays special. Then they picked five must dos as their traditions and the others, they do if they can.
5. Break traditions when needed: About those traditions, don’t let them bog you down. As a couple my husband and I spent a few years trying to do it all with both of our families. We finally put our foot down and said we would only travel every two years. And even that it changing up now, we may not see any family next year and instead take a trip, just the four of us. We want our girls to know that the holidays are about us being together, not the trappings.
6. Be like Santa and make a list: If you’re going to be buying a lot of gifts, keeping a list is key. Not only does it keep you on budget, it makes things a lot more smooth. I write all of my gifts then add the todos after them like wrap and send.
7. Put your phone down: Are you an Instagram addict like me? Then you know how hard it is not to capture every moment. But when you’ve got a phone in your face, you’re missing out on the magic. Plus your kids and friends are sick of posing.
8. Tone down the excitement: It’s easy to get in a frenzy of having SO MUCH FUN. But the magic rarely happens when you’re forcing it. Step back and enjoy the small things like crunchy leaves, the first snowfall, and warm drinks. The special moments come when you least expect them.
9. Don’t expect too much from family: Oh family, the friends you’re forced to have. We all retreat a little when we’re around our parents and siblings. Add in grandkids and inlaws, and well… yeah. Resolve to keep it easy this year: be happy to see them, enjoy your time with them, and don’t dip into anything too heavy.
10. Get a fake tree: If you’re into trees, get a fake pre-lighted one. We bought one 12 years ago at Garden Ridge and have never looked back. It sets up in minutes, doesn’t require water, and lasts as long as we want. Last year we stopped taking it apart and just unplugged it and moved it to a non dusty spot in our basement.
Have tips to add? PLEASE share them with me here! Because I believe in the collective brain trust. By commenting, you will only get my undying devotion but if you head to the Motrin Facebook page every Friday and share your tips there, you could win a Target gift card! Here is a sneak peak at the November questions.
NOVEMBER 10: With a busy schedule, taking some time for important. What do you do to make date night happen?
NOVEMBER 17: “Are we there yet?” What are some tips and tricks for keeping the kids entertained on a long drive?
NOVEMBER 24: With the holiday season fast approaching and lots of shopping to get done, chances are you’ll have to come up with some ideas on how to stretch your holiday budget.
NOVEMBER 27: The date of your family vacation can sometimes sneak up on you. How do you plan for a week away when there’s limited time for packing and shopping?
The contest details:
*NO PURCHASE NECESSARY, OPEN TO LEGAL RESIDENTS OF THE 50 UNITED STATES & D.C., 18 AND OLDER. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. Promotion ends 11:59p.m. ET 12/28/14. Sponsor will donate $1 for each approved Submission made as part of the promotion, with a minimum donation of $30,000 and a maximum donation of $50,000. For Official Rules, and complete details, visit www.unstoppablemoms.com. Sponsor: McNeil Consumer Healthcare Division of McNEIL-PPC, Inc. To learn more about Safe Kids Worldwide visit safekids.org.