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I’m Dreaming of an Un-Frazzled Christmas!

I think it’s pretty safe to say that I don’t really have my shit together after having my baby, but I desperately need to get my shit together now that she is twenty months old. Especially since we are thinking about having another baby. 

(Side note: A few weeks ago I though I was pregnant again. We’re not pregnant. Yet. Whew! Which is actually good since I basically drank my body weight in expensive red wine over the Thanksgiving holiday at my husband’s family’s house.) 

I’m so frazzled lately I feel like any second I’m totally on the verge of bursting into tears. I feel so unraveled and at times spiraling downward into who knows what ... utter chaos maybe. My house looks like a bomb went off. Well, not really, but we do have a lot of stuff that needs a home. I feel like we’ve been “moving in” for months now and we’ve been living here since … June maybe. I can’t remember anything important anymore. I used to have a memory like an elephant. Lately it’s more like a teenager who wants to be left alone and not answer questions.

To a married couple with no children we don’t have much, but since we have a toddler who is in permanent destructive, pull-everything-off-every-surface mode ... we have a lot of crap. And since she is taller than most twenty month olds her age she can reach to the middle of the kitchen table and kitchen counters just standing on her tippy toes, so everything gets pushed to the middle creating this fragile avalanche of mail, my purse, her diaper bag, toys she’s perched up there, dishes, wine glasses, and anything else we don’t want her going through and throwing all over the floor. 

So this Christmas since we’re on a budget anyway, we decided not to do a big traditional tree with the skirt and low hanging bulbs, presents scattered all around and an open container of water to keep the tree wet. No thanks. We have a very small fake tree that is part of a set of “forest” trees my mom has and I think it will work out great. It’s cute and up high. So it’s a perfect match. Now I just need to find the time to decorate it.

I have all these big plans to make cookies, and homemade goodies and stuff, and all I want to do is curl up on the couch with a nice warm pumpkin spice latte and watch romantic comedies ... by myself! 

I’m sick of beating myself up for not being perfect. I’ve got to give myself some slack. Being a stay-at-home-mom is a hard job, but being a “present, in-the-moment” mom who is trying to raise her daughter right-making healthy food, teaching good manners, and no tantrums in public kind of thing ... it’s the hardest job in the world! 

Things I’m NOT doing this Christmas:

  • Throwing a Christmas party
  • Sending out Christmas cards
  • Which means I’m not:

Worried about taking a family picture, spending countless hours editing it, cropping it, uploading it to a place where I will then spend more countless hours picking out the perfect background/font/color scheme for a photo card, then finding cute paper and address labels to match to create the perfect “Christmas Letter” that no one really reads anyway. Then to make matters worse, as a writer I have this compulsion to then WRITE additional information on the actual Christmas card to make it more personal. And of course hand decorate the envelope and adorn it with cute stickers and stamps.

  • Making little gift baskets and bags and getting any gifts for people other than my parents, husband and daughter ... (and myself!).
  • Making (from scratch) a gingerbread house for my toddler to decorate. I bought a pre-made one this year at Target and we plop the candy on it.
  • Making a bunch of cookies and fancy butters and jams to sell at my moms school.
  • Decorating the entire house and getting a big fancy (and expen$ive tree).
  • Making a traditional turkey dinner for Christmas Eve.
  • Wait in a long line and pay for a picture with Santa.
  • Sit out in the cold on a curb to watch a Christmas parade. 

These are the things I will do this year:

  • My charity drive this Saturday where we will collect brand new pajamas and books for homeless children on behalf of www.PajamaProgram.org
  • I’m going to make and decorate some sugar cookies, but I already have some dough in the freezer from when we made some for Thanksgiving.
  • I’m going to make an egg and cheese and bacon strata for Christmas morning, and a lasagna for Christmas night. And possibly Amy homemade mac n’ cheese for Christmas Eve dinner to go with our tamales. But not much more. I do have a sort of Martha Stewart complex ... so for me this isn’t much holiday cooking.
  • Sending out a Christmas Card email with a short letter and a few pictures.
  • We’ll check out the lights (from the warm car!)
  • We’ll go to the local craft store where there will be a Free Santa to take pics with. There will probably be a small line, but at least we won’t have to pay $20 for a crappy pic!
  • I’m going to a cookie party, a birthday party for a friend, and it’s my mom’s birthday. That’s it. 

Hopefully this Christmas will be a little less stressful! Check in with me on the 26th and see if I’m ready to jump off the nearest cliff or not. However, I might be. We’re heading to the in laws house on the 27th for three days. So someone might get strangled after all, who knows.

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