Last month our writers shared some of their holiday traditions and plans for the upcoming season. In November, we continue our conversation about holidays. How do we juggle visitors, travel with small children, eat well amidst all that delicious food and most importantly, take time to just BREATHE? This time of year can very quickly become stressful, so we hope our writers' words this month will give you a few moments to slow down, think about how you're spending your energy and encourage you during this busy, but wonderful time of year. ~TMC I always feel as if Halloween kicks off the holiday season. My husband has his birthday November 1st and with that, we're off! Thanksgiving, then my son's birthday, then Christmas and New Year's, and suddenly it's January and I'm wondering what happened to the last two months.
The holiday season is a time for family, friends, memory-making and lots of magical sparkle. But it can also be a time of craziness, stress, and disagreement. Blending traditions can be challenging, as can traveling with young children, meeting expectations, and trying to complete all the extra holiday tasks on top of our already busy schedules.
Here, then, are three reminders for how to survive the holiday season, provided by some folks you might know.
“Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day.” ― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh
Have patience. With others, but also with yourself. It's okay to strive for those idyllic memories, but remember that you have a lifetime to create memories. Not every one has to be created this year. Want to start a new tradition? Fantastic! Pick one (two if you're really ambitious) and run with it. Addicted to Pinterest? Yeah. Me too. But don't feel pressured to complete every amazing project you pin. Focus on a manageable amount, and save the rest for another year.
“A little nonsense now and then, is cherished by the wisest men.” ― Roald Dahl, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator
Take time to play. Yes, there's a never ending list of gifts to buy, food to make, events to organize. But also take time to take winter walks, or drive around in your pajamas to look at holiday lights, or have dance parties in the living room. Not only do these provide a good mental break (and no extra planning!), but they're also going to be a part of those holiday memories you want to create.
"Marilla, isn't it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?" - Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables
Be forgiving. Know this: things are going to go wrong. A new recipe will fall flat. A child will suffer some sort of facial injury the day before family pictures (mine seems to do it every year). You will misplace a wrapped gift (also seems to be a tradition in our household). Forgive yourself! One of two things will happen: it will either be a mistake that's forgotten in a short time, or it will become one of those family stories that's passed around the table for the next 25 years, but shared among folks who love you-- holiday catastrophes and all. Lock yourself in the bathroom, have a cry, and then jump back in to the game.
Listen, I know it's all easier said than done. I've had my share of holiday drama, and will likely have more this year. I'll be checking back on this post as a reminder, too. But one of the best things about motherhood is knowing that there's a whole legion of women out there who "get it". So take comfort during the frustrating moments, and celebrate the joyous ones.
A happy holiday season to you all!