There are things I do to manage the chaos. Or, things I don't do. These are the three biggies.
1. Elf On The Shelf
If you do this, more power to you. Personally, I don't have the energy.
I can't remember to move the elf around, or have to have him do things to amaze the kids. I don't have that much imagination, and I can barely remember to get all my kids up in the morning, so there is no way I'm going to remember to move an elf around.
And, to be honest, I find the idea a little creepy.
I don't even tell my kids that Santa looks at whether you're naughty or nice. I mean, I want them to behave because I'm watching. Not some weird little elf.
2. Crazy Wicked Spending
Even if we had the budget to buy our kids really expensive presents, we wouldn't. Or hey, maybe we would and I'm kidding myself. But we don't.
The holidays to us mean a few carefully selected gifts for each child, and quality family time together. We want them to get gifts that they will enjoy and be excited about, for sure. But not something outrageous. If we make a big purchase, we want it to be for the family, not just one child. So, we make those at other times of the year.
And we don't go broke over the holidays. Well, no more than usual, anyway.
3. Over Commitment
There are so many activities, parties, and things to do around the holidays, it can start to feel more like work than like fun. We want our holidays to be a time that we enjoy together, not a time when we've promised to do too many things with too many people.
I think picking your commitments carefully is really important in order to avoid holiday chaos. Not to mention, this California transplant likes to avoid going out into the cold as much as humanly possible.
I've seen the moms on Pinterest. They have Elf on the shelf ideas to share with the world. They're baking every kind of cookie known to man, and several kinds of fudge, too. And then they're putting it all into gift baskets for friends and neighbors, while their kids are in homemade holiday outfits, and sipping fresh cocoa next to intricately decorated fresh trees that they've chopped down themselves.
If this is your family, you are a better woman than I am. And I say that without any jealousy. After all, I'm really hoping for one of those gift baskets.
I put up my fake tree, and let the kids decorate it. I figure the ornaments the dog eats are fewer I have to pack away when the season is over. The kids will get cocoa, but it will be from a packet, and they'll get it if they shovel my driveway first.
But on Yule we'll open presents and spend the day in pajamas watching our favorite holiday movies and enjoy just being together.
Because not losing my mind this holiday season is my gift to myself.
That and a healthy helping of Irish Cream in my coffee.
May your holidays be happy, and definitely stress-free. And if you like my blog, please click the banner below to register a vote for me.