I love this time of year. From the lights and decorations to snuggling up by a warm fireplace with hot coco (with OR without a little extra kick) – it’s a nice time of year. While I’m not a huge fan of snow, I enjoy the peace, quiet and beauty of a nice snowfall. Even when out running errands (generally speaking of course) people seem nicer and more willing to help others.

But like many others, I also find this time of year incredibly difficult to handle. Several days a week I question why I like this time of year. The stress is ridiculous. On the best of days I can barely keep my head above water with the comings and goings that is the everyday life in my house: CCD, gymnastics, doctor’s appointments, therapy appointments, laundry, cleaning, paying bills, homework, class projects – the list goes on and on. NOT to mention that apparently people in my house want to eat on an hourly basis!!! But add to that the holiday parties, that damn Elf, Christmas pageants and concerts; holiday gift shopping (plus who gets what/how much!?) I’m dangerously close to drowning!

I feel as though I never have time to sit and enjoy what’s going on around me. I fear that my kids won’t have the same fond memories I have from my childhood of this time of year because there is just TOO much going on, TOO much stress and just not enough time. I continually wonder how my parents did it. My dad was in the Army so we rarely lived close to family and typically had to travel to see anyone for the holidays. My mom handled it like a Four Star General – we were packed up and in the car and I don’t ever remember waking up for the transfer from warm toasty bed to warm toasty car. We’d travel from whatever Army base up to Montague, MA for Christmas eve and then cross the state to Milton for Christmas day.

The holidays always seemed perfect, low stress and fun. And then I realize one MAJOR difference. I was a kid. I had no concept of the planning it took to get 2 kids and 2 adults packed and in the car at 3am to travel 7 hours. I was shielded from all the planning and running around to make Christmas “just so”. The baton has been passed and now it’s my turn to do the exact same thing for my kids: to shield them from the stress that the holidays can bring and to make sure they have memories of the all the good stuff.

I only have to tread water for another week or so and then some of this stress will melt away, not due to return for another year. I. Can. Do. This.

Wishing you all a very happy, healthy and stress-free holiday season!

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