As I sit lifelessly in this rather festive coffee shop, I’m listening to Bing Cosby croon some serious “Mele Kalikimaka” and it got me thinking.

First: W.T. the actual F., Bing? What’s with all this holly-jolly holiday bullsh*t? Didn’t you have like four kids? That’s a lot of stockings to fill, elves to move, teacher gifts to purchase and Christmas cards to mail. [Oh wait, that’s right. You were an abusive, raging alcoholic.]

I digress.

Second: As I write this, I’m mentally noting how to cut my cookie-icing recipe in half. Because—eff it—who the heck needs that many cookies? [Answer: No one.]

Unsurprisingly, my holiday shopping list is still sitting stagnant. The 150 holiday greeting cards have not yet been removed from the box for mailing. And, approximately 0% of the gifts I did actually purchase have been wrapped.

And, naturally, I have to finish up a week’s worth of work a week early because…holidays. [“Ahhh, the flexibility of freelancing!” they said.]

So, listen, we’re all about to lose our sh*t at any second. The holiday season SHOULD NOT be this way. I think we can agree. But from cookie exchanges and impromptu family gatherings to budget-busting gift lists and huge freaking crowds everywhere, it’s no wonder that most of us moms are on edge. Here are some thoughts on keeping it together this December…


1. Work Out

I know what you’re thinking, “Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!” Trust me, I almost punched myself in the throat after typing out that precious, little tip.

But hear me out.

You’ll feel better after a 30-minute jog. You won’t want to have an emotionally driven Christmas cookie massacre after busting your rear at pilates. And, you’ll likely have the energy to stand in that 100-customers-only-two-cashiers shopping line post Zumba. I might also recommend doing a few medicine ball slams should you need to transfer your holiday road rage elsewhere. [Haven’t heard of these? Giiiirrrrrrrrrrl, try ‘em.]

It’s worth carving the time out of your ridiculously stupid schedule.

2. Schedule a Girl’s Trip

I just went on a girls trip to Nashville THE WEEK BEFORE CHRISTMAS. What am, I nuts? Answer: Yes. Completely.

And, honestly, it kind of made everything holiday related feel a whole lot less intense.

Maybe a girls trip three days before Christmas isn’t the best idea. I get it. But, start planning one for early in 2017. Miami. Vegas. NYC. Chicago. Charleston. Nashville. Asheville. Pineville. Whatever.

Research tells us that even the sheer act of planning travel helps alleviate stress. Plus, you know you haven’t escaped the grips of motherhood for time with your friends in forever.

Now’s the time. Really.

3. Utilize All Those Visiting Friends and Family

Anyone else running a B&B this holiday season?

Here are my thoughts: It’s time to start charging a hotel rate for all these (semi) freeloaders.

How much?

The cost is one night home with my children while I go out with hubs to drink some serious holiday ale. That’ll give you time to cherish my angels and secretly plot to stay at a legit hotel next year.

You’re welcome.

4. Give

Can’t figure out what to get Aunt Gertrude this year? Is there literally no more space on your mother-in-law’s Pandora bracelet for another charm? Your dad impossible to buy for? The mall is out of freaking Hatchimals? Consider giving.

I get it, the first thing that comes to mind is George Costanza and the Human Fund. [If you have no idea what I’m talking about, watch it.]

But, at this stage of the game, I think that if you choose your charity wisely, you’re giving a very thoughtful gift. Plus, you can do this stuff online and over the phone QUICKLY.

Is Aunt Gertrude really into her Yorkshire terrier? Make a donation in her name to the Humane Society of the United States.

Would you describe your mother-in-law as a devout Catholic? Make a donation to her hometown church.

Is your dad a card-carrying Democrat? Trust me, both political parties are always accepting donations. Or, consider contributing to a candidate of his choice.

I’ve also stumbled upon a great site called TisBest, which allows you to give a charity gift card so that the recipient can donate to one of hundreds of charities of their choosing.

I don’t know about you, but I’d rather get a great, thought-out donation to a charity than another ill-fitting, horrifically ugly sweater that’ll require me to find time to exchange.

5. Just Chill

In the words of our Norwegian bestie, “Let it go.” Or, in my words, “Just f*ck it.”

Will my three-year-old daughter remember the absolute hell…ahem…I mean MAGIC that is making cookies together? No.

Does my one-year-old care if she has precisely the exact same number of gifts as her sister? Unlikely.

Think your kid’s teacher will be totally cool with an amazeballs New Year’s or Valentine’s Day gift? Probably.

Will anyone notice that you didn’t brine the freaking turkey. Maybe, but if they do, tell them to go eat a pile of…….snow.

Most of the stress of the holiday season comes from within. So, go ahead, let some of it go, enjoy the time with family, make memories, watch those babies soak up the season and have a few drinks with the hubs. It’s your holiday, too.

 

Happy holidays, Mom. You got this.