I am almost, almost past my holiday slump. The house as been as decorated as it is going to get for Halloween. Pumpkins have been carved and decorated. Brownies and pizza were made in celebration. And our little Babes DIY costume is in the works.
But there is still a part of me that feels slumpish (it’s a word, trust me). And I have come to the conclusion that for me, with a child and two families, the holidays fill me anxiety and dread trying to balance it all. I love to entertain, but now I find a houseful of people overwhelming and LOUD! Our families all get along, but we still find ourselves needing to split the time from one house to the next- attempting to keep everyone happy.
What I really want to do is bake Christmas cookies with royal icing (which never actually seems to happen) and dress up all fancy and stay indoors with my family of three while sipping champagne in front of the fireplace. Daydreamin much?!
Trying to put this all into perspective and back my holiday groove, here is a list of the things I am attempting to remind myself.
Remember Everyone has Good Intentions
There are things that I really want to do for my babe. I want to buy her special Christmas pajamas and a book every year to celebrate Christmas Eve. So if someone else decides to send over a book or pajamas that may make me want to cry in the corner. But that isn’t fair. They are not buying things to go above me, they are buying things because they love and want to spoil her! Same rule applies for wanting to spend everysinglemomentofeverysingleholiday with us. They love us. They want to be with us. Can I fault anyone for that?!
Decide What is Most Important
Decorating the house. Sending out Christmas Cards. Baking. Seeing Christmas lights. Creating traditions for my family of three. These are things that are important to me. I can let go of who cooks the turkey. I am trying to keep a mental list of what I really need from the holidays and letting go of the rest. I seem to want to do it all because it gives me a sense of control. Then I get upset when it doesn’t go as planned. I have to learn to take control only when it really matters to me.
Play the Balancing Act Wisely
It can be really exhausting to run from one house to the next. We tend to get our family together as often as possible to avoid this. But sometimes we each want to spend time with our families a little more one on one, and that is fine too. Most important to me is making sure everyone feels included.
It’s Okay to Say No
This is a hard one. It is hard to say no to family, and even more so to say no to your extended married life family. But I am learning if we stick together as our team of two and let it be okay to not please everyone, make it everywhere, attend every event my stress level is much lower. We try our best to get around to everyone at some point but sometimes we have to say no (or leave early) and that has to be okay too. The people that love us will understand. And if not eventually, they will get over it.
Like I said, I am new to this. Working my way through our second holiday season with a now very active toddler makes my head spin. Any advice and tips from the veterans is, as always, very appreciated!