The triplet’s birthdays are in early August. Every year I say that’s the beginning of the holidays because Fall seems to fly by and Halloween is here before we know it.
As an older Mom I find I have less energy. During the Holidays I want to enjoy it without fatigue and being a Grinch. So here are my suggestions:
1. Pare it down/Prioritize.
Have a meeting with your family and ask them to list their top 3 (or whatever number works for you) holiday traditions. Explain to them that you want to simplify the holidays and want to concentrate on their favorite traditions. Make sure everyone realizes their top three may not make the cut. Once you have their lists, compare and find the most popular traditions and concentrate on doing those this year. It’s just pairing down and concentrating on what your family really enjoys and you can let the rest go. If Aunt Mamie’s 12 layer salad doesn’t make the cut, what a relief that you don’t have to go shopping and spend the time making it. (Unless it’s your favorite then go all out!!)
2. Schedule chores and time for yourself and your family.
I use a calendar to keep track of events. I schedule work days that don’t interfere with events we have planned. I make sure to schedule time for myself and time with my sweetie. If it’s on the calendar it’s hard to say no.
3. Enlist everyone's help.
This means hubby too. My kids love to help. I've found it's easier to tackle the decorating and cooking if I have help. All ages can help. It’s ok if all the ornaments are on the bottom half of the tree. Laugh about it and take a picture. Maybe it’s a new tradition or decorating rage.
4. Be adaptable. Think outside the box.
When the triplets were 4, Jay’s Mom wanted the whole family to go to 8 a.m. Christmas Service. 8 A.M.!! She obviously doesn’t have small children. That’s prime Santa time at our house. Our solution was to have Christmas on Christmas Eve. The kids were small and didn’t know the difference. Santa came and we were able to have the whole day to ourselves and enjoy Christmas. No stress having to go to in-laws, etc. Then the next day it was a great day to spend with family. Obviously now it would be harder to pull off, but at that age it worked great.
5. Have smaller and more celebrations.
Is this a trick? For example, all during October, I’ll surprise the kids with creepy lunches or dinners. I’ll send “bones” (breadsticks) in their lunch sack, etc. During December we eat off Christmas plates and drink out of moose mugs all month. Having small celebrations helps spread the cooking throughout the month.
I’m not saying don’t go all out if that is what you want and have the time and energy. I’m just saying it’s ok to pare down and take it a little slower.
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