How I’m Surviving And Thriving This Holiday Season


How I’m Surviving And Thriving This Holiday SeasonOkay…where has December gone? No, really. Weren’t we just handing out candy and trick or treating for Halloween? It seems like every year flies by a little faster and with a five-year-old and a toddler, my family is in the thick of the magic years. I want to remember every second of these wonder-filled days. I want to make lasting memories that we’ll all talk about for years to come.

The other day, my five-year-old said, “Mom, I don’t really care about all the presents… Christmas is about being with family.” Well, I thought, we must be doing something right! He did admit a minute later to be ok with some presents, which I absolutely agreed with (especially after all the wrapping I’ve already done!). As a mom though, one of the difficult things about this time of year is being present, physically and mentally. There’s so much running around in December — whether to holiday parties or shopping — and you also have a lot on your mental plate: Have I bought everyone’s gifts? When will I have time to mop the floors? What are we going to eat on Christmas Day? Where did I hide the present I bought back in August?

If you’re going to be present with your family to make and experience the joy of the season, you have to have some safeguards in place to preserve your sanity. Here are a few of mine:

1. Whipped cream in the fridge

That’s correct. I keep a can of whipped cream in the door of the fridge and when I’m feeling stressed, I get a little whipped cream shot. I don’t even have to share with anyone because everyone else in my house prefers Cool Whip, and it’s only 20 calories per two tablespoons — incredible! Sometimes, I even put it on my coffee if I have the luxury of drinking coffee at home vs. in the school drop-off line.

 2. The leftovers pie

One of my favorite treats between Thanksgiving and Christmas is pumpkin pie. It’s the only time you get to eat it, and it just goes so well with a cup of coffee and dare I say, whipped cream? But, as our family grew each year, it became more disappointing to come home from holiday dinners with only one slice. So now I buy an entire pie just for our little family before Thanksgiving, then when we come home after time spent with family, there’s enough for everyone. AND I eat a slice for breakfast the day after Thanksgiving. Do I become unhinged during the holidays? Maybe.

 3. Family prayer time

During this time of year, it’s so easy to feel scattered and extra busy, and for some reason, the kids seem worse even though you reminded them Santa/the elf, etc. are all watching! Maybe it’s because they had extra sugar at school and I had extra whipped cream shots? Who knows. Anyway, something that keeps us grounded and connected is ending each day with a bedtime prayer. Sometimes, my husband or I say the prayer, and sometimes our five-year-old wants to. We thank God for our blessings, especially the blessing of family, friends, and a roof over our head when it’s cold outside. It reminds us of what’s truly important in a season that can feel commercial and overwhelming, and ends the day on a good note.

 4. 15 minutes

When I’m spending my precious hours while the baby naps wrapping presents and cleaning the house for company this time of year, the normal house needs tend to get overlooked. Since my bedtime routine with the one-year-old is way quicker than my husband’s routine with the five-year-old, I spend just 15 minutes before he comes downstairs doing something I didn’t have time for earlier that day. Maybe I load the dishwasher or put away the load of laundry sitting by the stairs. While I do my one thing, I listen to my daily Bible chapter and then a podcast, which keeps me motivated and keeps me from getting distracted! Right now, I’m binging The Carpool podcast which is entertaining, informative, and often laugh out loud funny. Completing that one leftover task helps the next day feel more peaceful before it even begins.

Hopefully these holiday hacks are helpful or at least entertaining! What are some ways you survive the holiday season?


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