A few years ago, we wrote a blog about how moms could change their approach to the holidays, so they'd get to enjoy them along with their family. This post will add more strategies to that list, and we hope some of them help you.
The year has been hard on us all, and moms in particular have a huge load to carry. You deserve to experience the relaxation and peace that are supposed to be a part of the season. So decide which of these tips works for you and start taking back December.
Here are 8 Tips from a St Louis, MO Therapist on how Moms can find Holiday Magic
1. Give Gifts That Bring You Joy:
“I think I’m going to make gifts for everyone this year. It will be so personal.” This sentence spells the doom for so many busy crafters. Making gifts at home sounds economical and fun. And you’ll be gifting something you made with your own two hands.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with crafting. If it’s your hobby and you find it fulfilling to do a lot of it, fantastic! Craft those gifts. But remember that the decision to hand-make all the gifts means you’re committing to…hand-making all the gifts. This might sound fun at the beginning but if you’re not super invested, it’s going to sound way less fun on a weekend when you’ve attended three holiday parties and taken the kids to see Santa.
There’s no ‘right’ way to give gifts, just make sure your gift-giving style is authentic to your needs. Whether that’s lovely hand-knit sweaters, a lovely gift from the store, or a gift card to treat someone to something they enjoy. You give gifts the way that feels right to you.
2. Think Outside The Gift Box:
This is another way to grab some magic without over-stretching yourself. Instead of frantically running around to shop and blowing tons of money on complete guesses, invest in experiences, at any price range you can afford. Instead of buying someone a computer, send them to coding camp. Instead of loading them up with a bunch of fuzzy socks, you can buy them a knitting class if they’re a crafty person.
Again this may or may not save you money, depending on what you give and to how many. But it lets you schedule time with your loved ones for the rest of the year, and it will significantly free up the time you would have used for shopping. And bonus, if you’re attending things with the people you gifted, you might even get invited along to experience something new yourself.
3. Use Multitasking To Your Advantage:
Multitasking is usually stressful but there are ways to put it to good use. Decorate the tree and call a friend or relative you want to chat with. Put on the TV to watch a family favorite holiday movie, one that everyone’s seen a million times, so you can chat or play games during the commercials or make fun of the cheesy dialogue while the movie’s playing. The important part is to find ways to involve quality time with family and friends in your seasonal to-do list, so you don’t miss out.
This doesn’t need explanation. No mom gets enough sleep at any time of the year. The holidays are worse. Whatever you must prepare for celebrations prep will wait til morning. Even this blog will wait. So go to bed. Shoo!
5. Switch Up Your Traditions:
Things getting into a rut can contribute to the holidays feeling like work. Sometimes all an event needs to make it pleasurable is a little shift in perspective. So try making a change! Instead of always having Christmas morning in the living room, try opening gifts in the evening along with a feast of coco and cookies. Take an afternoon break from shopping and go see a holiday show. Spend a little part of the day doing some volunteering in your community.
It doesn’t really matter what you do. The important part is that it’s different, and that it doesn’t make you work harder in ways you don’t like. Just be sure you talk to your family to make sure you’re not taking away a tradition someone really treasures.
6. Bake Something For Fun Not For Function:
Something a lot of us have forgotten baking cookies is supposed to be fun. But with holiday parties, cookie exchanges, and giving treats as gifts, baking has become a chore. And let’s not forget all the damage Instagram is doing to people’s cookie confidence.
But it doesn’t have to be like this. What if you just baked for you and your family? What if you made ugly sugar cookies, or let the kids put dinosaur sprinkles all over. (PS I personally think this would be awesome). What if the cookies didn’t get packaged in nice tins but stayed on a paper plate on the counter? That could turn baking into part of the celebration instead of just a chore. Any tradition we can repurpose from job to fun makes the season that much easier and more enjoyable.
7. The Magic Is In The Mess:
What are your fondest memories of the holiday season? Do you remember how many times your mom vacuumed? Do you remember if grandma ironed her cloth napkins? Maybe you do; I don’t know your family. For me, some of my most fond holiday memories were sitting in the living room after we opened presents, with wrapping paper strewn everywhere and eventually chaotic hordes of family pouring into the house.
Clean if it makes you feel good. But don’t stress over whether someone wiped down the stove. Just let the mess be a symbol of a good time and sit back so you can enjoy it. And when cleaning is done.... make someone else facilitate clean-up. You deserve to just enjoy things sometimes.
8. Don’t Force It:
There’s a lot of pressure to make the holidays magical despite the stress. And while that should be a goal it’s not a measure of how well you holidayed. If you can’t avoid stress, if you’re going through grief or dealing with a hard family situation, or if you’re just utterly exhausted, don’t force yourself to feel something you don’t. Find joy in helping others find their magic moments, and relax and let your own moments happen naturally, wherever you are and whenever it happens. Joy shouldn’t be stressful; just take care of yourself as best as you can and don’t worry about the rest.
The holidays are full of festivities, fun, and franticness. As a mom you feel like you’re running a circus, running yourself ragged to have that perfect Christmas. But it doesn’t have to be that awful. Think about what you and your family prioritize about the season and make that great in small personal ways. It’s okay to put the rest on the backburner or forget about it entirely. You make them happen, so let yourself join the celebrations.
If the holidays are hard for you, or if you’re just stressed from managing the normal struggles of family life, reach out to our therapists at Marble Wellness. We specialize in working with moms and are here to help you. Contact us through our website, and we will get you connected to the support you need.
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