1. Online shopping….Okay, this one isn’t new. I have not finished shopping yet. I’ve barely started, but to keep me from dragging two tussling babies through any stores this year, I am ordering from Amazon…and other places if necessary.
2. We aren’t putting up our tree this year. I have always thought that Christmas season was stressful with a one year old. I remember when Grace was a year old, it felt like a special brand of torture to go to anyone’s house who didn’t have a one year old during the Christmas season. I felt like a ninja trying to keep her away from those colorful breakable things. This year, with two one-year-olds, forget about it. My mother-in-law and father-in-law were kind enough to give us some table top Christmas trees, and the girls have been putting ornaments on those. It satisfies their need to decorate, and it satisfies my need not to worry about the tree 24/7.
3. We have never sent out holiday cards before. I always look longingly at them in the store, or online, or when they arrive in the mail, but Tommy has always said that they are too much work. This year I actually agree with him…maybe next year sweetie?
4. I am decluttering. One of my very good friends invited me to a minimalism group on Facebook with a few other friends. We are doing fun things like posting before and after pics of our kitchen counters. It’s really fun, you should try it. I’m actually serious. I just know how overwhelmed I usually feel about ten minutes after everyone opens presents…I never know where all the new stuff is going to go and I start to sweat. By lunch time, it seems like all items have been placed lovingly in a pile in every seat in the living room…I don’t know why this happens, but it’s just where new stuff migrates to. Maybe it’s telling us not to sit down?!
5. I’m barely cooking. Have I mentioned lately how much I adore my husband? When I asked him what we should do for our big meal this year, he said “homemade pizzas”…and to be clear, our homemade pizzas come with store bought crust and sauce, so you just top and bake. So there, if you needed permission to simplify your menu this year, I just gave it to you.
6. Letting the girls decorate. I haven’t really done any crafts with the girls lately…at all. So, if they do a craft at school, or get taken to a beautiful holiday party by their awesome holiday party by family members (thanks guys), or color a picture at home, we capitalize on this and draw out the process a bit by letting them choose an awesome and spot for their creations…They usually get to do this anyway if they think of it, but I’m making a point of suggesting it to give them extra fun decorating time..and having the craft process last a little longer. And yes, that thing that you thought was a piece of trash in our window was a construction paper snow man. Aren’t we chic?
7. We skipped the lights in the park this year…sorta. A nearby park does a really cool light display every year. However, I heard from some other parents that the wait to get in to see it is about an hour and a half. So we aren’t going to subject the babies to that kind of time in the car…and we aren’t going to subject all of us to being in the car with said babies for 1.5 to 2 hours. Instead, there is a house one block away from us that does extremely garish and over the top decorating. The girls call this house “the jolly house”…at Halloween it is “the ghost house”…anyway, they ask to go by it every time we leave the house…and on the way home too. I always say yes. And they LOVE it. It is an absolute treat for them each and every time.
8. On a note related to spending very little time in the car, we aren’t traveling this year. Our extended family has been very understanding this year, and gets that it’s just too much to make a long drive. So we’re just sticking around here.
One thing I would like to do this year that isn’t necessarily super easy to do is take Grace and Ava out shopping for gifts for their siblings. My former college roommates, who are identical twins, told me that it made them feel very special when their mom did this for them growing up. So, it’s my goal to do this with my children. The babies aren’t old enough to do so yet, but hopefully I can work up to it.
I’m all ears about keeping things super simple and easy…but still making some memories. So, got any tricks for keeping the holiday stress monster at bay?