Holiday Traditions, expectations and Obligations

The holidays are a wonderful time of year one of my favourite in fact. I love keeping family traditions alive, I love creating new traditions with my family and I love watching my boys faces as small miracles are happening all around them.

But it is already mid December and I'm wondering if I have taken more than I can chew.

At the beginning of the season it is so easy to commit to baking this and hosting that and as the month goes on the to list gets longer and the days get shorter. It feels like everyone wants or needs something from you but there are only so many days on the calendar.

How can you do it all and still keep sane?

I know for me this is the first year that our elf Jack has not moved for a day here and there. Yes that is right mommy completely forgot and had to lie her butt off to explain why Jack was in the same spot. I have baked over 20 dozen cookies and we still need more. Christmas shopping is not finished and I am patiently waiting for items to arrive in the mail and if it doesn't happen there is no plan B. I have not done Christmas cards or even Christmas photos yet so it looks like family members will be getting a nice email or possibly a funny video for Christmas

It is times like this that I know I need to take a step back into re-evaluate.

Here are a few key things to remember!

Know your limits

These can be time limits, financial limits, emotional limits, anything. It is not worth stretching yourself so thin just to participate in that extra cookie exchange. It is not worth buying that extra gift for someone if it means stressing about how you're going to pay for it. At the end of the day we make the holiday specials for our kids and our families not cookies or toys but us! I remember a friends mom used to tell me when she was young they were so poor that as a present she would receive a package of scotch tape. And she was so excited to receive that tape. She could create things and play with a package of tape.

Remember it is OK to say no

Once you know your limits you can always tell people “No thank you” or “Sorry I won't be able to do that”. Maybe this year is the year I make one casserole for dinner instead of four.

Spread out the excitement

I know I am always trying to do so many things before or on Christmas Day that as soon as it's over I feel completely exhausted. Maybe this is the year we spread out family visits over three or four days instead of trying to fit it all in on one day. I can make the whole experience last longer too.

You cannot do it all

Remember to keep your expectations realistic. As much as we try we are never going to have the perfect Hallmark holiday but what we have is pretty incredible. So just spread some love and cheer and do what you can do,

Take a moment to take it all in and be grateful

During the chaos try to take a moment take a deep breath and enjoy yourself. I make my kids take their time opening each gift so I can see what they got and watch the reaction.

Hope you have a great Holiday season!!!

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