Moms, It’s Time to Create Some Christmas Magic for Ourselves

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… for everyone but moms. I take that back. It is a wonderful time for us moms, but it comes at a cost, like all of our time and money. Every year is a constant struggle between the creative side of my brain that wants to do all of the adorably magical Christmas things and the practical side of my brain that is saying “WTF!?!” on a 24-hour loop. This year, though, I am determined to find a balance between the two. And lucky for you, I’m here to tell you how we are going to do it.

“It’s a beaut, Clark!”

Find something that you can skip this year.

I have always said that I’ll never have a fake Christmas tree. I loved shopping for a tree and having that wonderful smell in my house when I was a kid. I just assumed that would be my own family’s tradition as well. So for the past ten years of our marriage, I have insisted on a real tree. Anyone who buys real trees knows it’s quite an ordeal, especially with small children. Finding the perfect tree takes concentration and patience which is not an option while sharing the experience with three kids that are alternating between demanding to help and reenacting Fight Club. The whole thing is torture for my quiet and reserved husband, and it’s a lot of work being the only one who can find the humor in causing a scene. I was finally forced to order a fake tree this year because we only had one day to get the house decorated. And, honestly, it was a relief. My husband was in a good mood, and I discovered that since the branches are bendable, I can put ornaments anywhere. Oh, and I splurged and got the 9-foot tree. So, everyone wins!

Try to get your kids at least one thing they will like but is also practical.

I don’t know about you, but I get overwhelmed at the thought of finding a place for all of the new stuff that will be in our possession by Christmas day. The first Christmas after our twins were born, I was bombarded with requests for ideas of what to give them. As a twin mom, I no longer had time for nonsense, so I replied “diapers and formula.” Everyone looked at me like I was crazy. “Are you sure you don’t want some matching clothes or fun toys?” Nope. They are three months old. A full tummy and a clean butt are the only things that make them happy. (New moms, feel free to use this logic. You’re welcome.) This year, I am getting each of my three girls a 14-inch cube with three drawers for all of their “treasures.” (Webster defines “kids’ treasures” as “random bits of tiny, cheap plastic crap that has no purpose other than to make children cry when lost or parents yell out cuss words when stepped on.”) My excitement about these “treasure” organizers is what is giving me life as I climb the Christmas mountain. 

Christmas magic, y’all.

Keep one weekend (or weekend day) free.

I know this sounds impossible, but you can do it. You control the calendar. The calendar does not control you. The trick is to determine which weekend is looking like your best bet and protect it. You need to be prepared with an excuse from the very beginning as to why your entire family is not available that weekend. “That’s the weekend we are planning to {insert generic Christmas family activity}.” Then, you can either do said activity or stay home and create something magical or just do nothing. It’s your family’s weekend to enjoy the Christmas season without having to rush from here to there. I have been fiercely protecting a certain Saturday for just this reason. It will probably involve multiple threats to cancel Christmas and The Grinch on a loop, but I will be wearing pajamas in the privacy of my own home while said magic is happening. And, that is worth protecting.

Just like everything in motherhood, creating a magical Christmas for your family is instinctual and, ultimately, extremely rewarding. But, it’s time to make a little Christmas magic for ourselves this year. And as a mom, what could be more magical than less stress? I know that we are in the thick of Christmas chaos as I write this, so it might be a little late for some of these tips. But it’s never too early to start planning for next year! Take back some of that Christmas magic for yourselves, Moms. You deserve it.

Mandy grew up in Baton Rouge and graduated from LSU with a degree in Anthropology. In an attempt to figure out what do with an Anthropology degree (seriously, what do you do with it?!?), she moved to DC and received a masters degree in Forensic Science at George Washington University. Still at a loss for what she wanted to be when she grew up, Mandy moved to Austin, TX. Over the course of seven years, she built a successful(ish) jewelry design business, met some of her favorite people ever, imported her now husband from Baton Rouge, and made the decision to move back to Baton Rouge to start a family. Since then, Mandy has worked for a jewelry designer, a CPA, and now a financial advisor. And in between, she was a stay at home mom to three feisty, but sweet daughters, two of which are twins. Her girls love to dance and sing just like their mom, and Mandy's dream of a possible girl version of the Hansons or a Judds-like situation is becoming more of a reality every day. In the meantime, she is pouring her creativity into her writing which can be described as honest, funny and little bit snarky, just like Mandy. You can check out more of her musings at Tantrums and Twirls.


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