Vertically challenged, full-time mama of two children; a boy and a girl. Wife to a husband who knows me too well. Past work experience includes interactive marketing, public relations, and teaching. Self-proclaimed worrier and over-thinker. Loves the sun, cookies & cream ice cream, and lounging on the couch with a good foodie magazine.

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Great Expectations: Simplifying the Holidays

Every year when December begins, I have these grandiose ideas of what the month will bring.  Visions of a picture perfect home, the smell of freshly baked goodies in the oven, and my feet up under a cozy blanket while watching a heartwarming movie with a big ol’ cup of cocoa in my hands.  I plan to do countless holiday activities with the kids.  I plan to have all my shopping done early.  I plan to have a fully planned meal for Christmas dinner.  I plan to actually enjoy the season and not stress out.

Last year, while wrapping gifts at 11pm on Christmas Eve, I vowed that I would never let that happen again.  I will never again wait and procrastinate what I should be doing today.  Right?

No more wrapping presents at the last minute!


You know how in November, you start seeing all the holiday magazines at the stores?  The ones with perfect looking sugar cookies and the perfectly browned turkey.  The ones boasting about perfect holiday outfits and hairstyles.  Then there are all those blogs with crafty projects and printables galore – for all those festive parties you will be having.  The Pottery Barn catalog alone sends me into a tizzy.  I think that I should totally have a party that looks like that: with perfectly dressed children and not a thing out of place; with little cups of cocoa that have a peppermint stick in each one.  And, of course, there are those handmade centerpieces I made with my own homegrown rosemary plants that look just like tiny Christmas trees.

Courtesy of Pottery Barn Kids


Funny, right??

Why do we do this to ourselves?  Instead of feeling happy and joyous and grateful, which is what we all should be doing, I end up feeling like I somehow failed.  As if my children will have less of a fun holiday because we didn’t make our own advent calendar.  Or the idea that they will be let down if we don’t make eight varieties of cookies.

Gingerbread cookies courtesy of Real Simple


The theme for this year is SIMPLIFY.

You know what I had to remind myself?  Kids love everything about the holiday season.  They love the music, they love the tree, they love spending time with mom and dad regardless of what we are doing.

This year I’m not going to make a list a mile long of all the things we have to do.  I’m going to stick to the basics:

  • Visit the tree farm and decorate the tree
  • Make cookies with the kids
  • Drive around and look at lights
  • Donate to those less fortunate
  • Listen to holiday music

I honestly don’t have it all planned out yet, but I do know that in year’s past, I have been so tired by the time Christmas actually arrives that I barely remember it.

I’m going to try and take a deep breath.

How do you savor the season?  Do you find that media puts pressure on you to have the “perfect” holiday?

Other posts you might enjoy:

Putting the “Give” Back into the Season of Giving

Fun Holiday Books for Kids

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

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