Thursday, December 4, 2014

Do holidays intimidate anyone else?

I have a confession. (I’m hoping writing it down makes it easier to get over.)

I’m overly intimidated by holidays. Like basically…. I’m afraid of them.


I think that might have started just a little bit after I got married, but I KNOW I definitely got majorly intimidated by them after becoming a mom.

If you boil it down it’s basically just a fear I’m not gonna do the celebrating well enough. That I’m not going to bring the magic.


Being an all or nothing kind of person, I basically just want to shut down right before holidays. Because I know I’m not gonna “pinterest it up" enough. (But this is a not hate on Pinterest moment. Pinterest is not even close to where my Holiday fears were born -- they were born long before Pinterest was. So I fault-not Pinterest -- I actually thank Pinterest for prompting out of my funk many a time.)

I don’t think this is a social media pressure I feel. I think I’d be up against this even in the pre-TV days. I think I just get so idealistic that it’s hard for me to take the small baby steps towards any amount celebrating because I don’t feel like it will turn into enough.

Long before Thanksgiving I start envisioning perfect holiday pictures for perfect holiday cards. The house covered in lights, garland,
beautiful smells, perfect decorations, I see cookie cutting and decorating.
Maybe we all get awesome outfits. Paint our nails together. Just special, specialness abounding.

Then we get closer to Thanksgiving (and lets just assume is is does not include 1st trimester nausea) and I start realizing I have no time for getting most of this done. I don’t have most the those decorations. I don’t know how to make allergy safe cookies we can decorate. If we were making cookies together I know I’d be antsy, impatient, and biting my tongue through the whole thing, because I am just not good at little kid projects. (Give me an older kid who doesn’t completely cover themselves and the house in un believable amounts of mess while trying to decorate one cookie and I think I’d be a different story.) If we make the cookies, it’s almost gaurenteed at least one of the kids will think they taste bad anyway. Christmas cards? I’ve taken awesome wedding photos, I delight in gorgeous photos -- but to get my own kids to pose for me? HA! And I know grandma is dying for an adorable traditional photo, with a really tremendous outfit, just like I was in every year as a kid. But just the effort it takes for me to get them out of pajamas in general, is enough to make me crazy, that’s not even talking about a photo outfit. And what kinda of outfit do I even pick? My girls aren’t opionless, they want to like it, and I don’t know what that means from day to day. And I don’t want it too dressy because I know we never wear that stuff. But I don’t ever feel smart spending extra money on a every-day-outfit anyway, because we are just gonna cover it in ketchup and playdough and paint. (Because I don’t know how to have play clothes vs nice clothes -- if they are dressed we just do.) (And I might accidently let that happen before we take the photo!) And then if I actually want to be in the picture, I’d need to find someone to take it! And if I found someone to take it, I’d have to print it. And then I’d need to mail it. And I’d need to figure who to mail it to. I don’t know how much my generation does this whole thing anyway, you can see me on Facebook.

And before you know it, I’ve canceled the need to do anything. Anything at all for Christmas, because….just because everything.

So far my kids have been small enough I knew none of this mattered.  And honestly, so far our life has been fairly crazy at Christmas time every year since we’ve had kids. Our first family christmas was kinda settled. But after that, no. I was pregnant and sick and we were moving. Then we were far from family, not settled in, traveling and in non-sleeping-baby-and-toddler-land. THEN we were renovating a house -- trying to get a floor done so we could have a reason to pay our movers to move our stuff in -- not really even considering Christmas at all. We said we’d do Christmas late -- but it was so lame it was ridiculous. And my fear of failure on celebrating was suffocating that morning. Because wow was that ever not-christmasy.

So this year I’m trying to come to terms with it won’t be a actually settled into life like I thought it would be kinda of Christmas. 
But it most certainly won’t be a almost-not-christmas like last year.

I don’t have a lot of decorations 

because when we moved the first time, we were down sizing and I got rid of anything I could, including some Christmas stuff. I also didn’t even start with much due to my mental take on it all.

When we first got married we got real trees. Then once we had kids I didn’t want them trying to crawl up it, so we used an ity-bity-insy-weensy tree up on a table.

And when we moved that’s all we had room for anyway.

At this moment there is no tree in our house. I hope to fix that soon. But I have major guilt that it’s not up yet, and now there is less time to enjoy it. That guilt starts going and eventually I end up at “why even get one now, it’s too late.”  Guys, this is crazy talk isn’t it? Yeah. I think we will go get a real tree this weekend.

I think after Christmas I’d like to buy a fake tree on sale, so I have one ready and waiting for next year. It always feels like time sneaks past too fast for the real tree -- we never get it on time. I might even like to have two trees at this house. (All or nothing, much?!)

Anyway. As of yesterday the mental strangeness was winning. I was almost ready to not take any steps towards Christmas. But I made myself.

When I was a kid we would get those cardboard Advent Calendars that you open a door up each day for a piece of chocolate.

 I loved those things. I’m emotionally attached to those things. (Despite the fact that even as a kid I was able to tell that chocolate was the poorest quality chocolate they can make. Like its half wax or something.) But my girls can’t eat milk-chocolate (dairy allergy) so those wax-chocolate count down boxes are out for us. (Yet another mental hurdle for my poor wimpy soul.)
I pinterested this little picture. Because it was a pretty yet simply easy allergy-friendly-able thing I could do instead.

But I didn’t know what to put inside there. The endless possibilities were too much for me. Should it be projects. Special toys? Part of the nativity scene. So overwhelming.
Eventually I just settled on fruit snacks. Blake ran to the grocery store for me (Me and this baby are still too grossed out by food for grocery stores) and got stuff including two huge boxes of christmas shaped fruit snacks and I put together the bags and Blake hung them up for me last night. I had been feeling so bad I didn’t get it up in time for Dec 1st, that I almost didn’t do it, but I just went ahead and made myself except “less than perfect.” (Including the fact that I admitted online that I am purposefully giving my kids food with food coloring in it.)

I’m glad I did. Taking the first step does make me feel like I can do Christmas, maybe not awesomely. But that I can do it anyway.
If I tried really hard to get the angle right, and added some evergreens…I could fake it

But not in real life…. :)

I decorated our chalkboard doors this morning. And the girls really liked that.
Ha! After a whole day of this being on the internet,
I see that I have spelled Christmas wrong! Geez! lol.
Good thing I’m not a spelling perfectionist --
that’s one thing I am not.
 I’ll fix it on my door now though!

I’m working on realizing they are kids, they have no frame of reference, no expectations, that they will think Christmas is magical because Christmas IS magical.

Do any of you have this mental battle? I really hope it’s not just me.
This song always moves me when I’m feeling less than best.

I can definitely see this perfection drivenness in one of my kids. I’m gonna need to keep working on it in me, to help her.


  1. I know how you feel- since our move half of our Christmas decorations got lost : ( They were new and exciting ones that I had bought on sale after the Christmas season last year and was looking forward to using for the first time. When I realized they were gone I was not only sad but a little discouraged about starting again since our budget is now tighter and Christmas stuff seems outside of the "necessity" category. We still had all the ornaments for the tree and that helped me get back into the swing of it but with our daughter being so young it's easy to skip stuff that seems to expensive or exhausting- hopefully next year will be better.

    1. Oh man I’m so sorry! That’s so disappointing. I hope they turn up for you eventually. I’m still finding things a year after our move.


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