Our speaker at MOPs today was a wise, older woman with 4 grown daughters. At one point, she had 17 consecutive years of having a preschooler in the house! She often comes to us with great advice… and it’s usually some form of “Don’t stress out so much! Enjoy your children!” =)
Today she talked to us about how to enjoy the holidays. Here I present some of Miss Martha’s wisdom, and some tidbits of my own.
- Write down your vision of the perfect holiday season. Then figure out how much of that vision is actually attainable. Figure out what you can do to make it happen, and think about what depends on others. Hang on to some of it, let go of some of it. PLAN TO BE A CALM, RELAXED, KIND MOMMY!
- Delegate. If your mom-in-law makes good pie, let her bring it. Don’t try to make it all yourself. Do what comes easiest and is most enjoyable to you, and outsource the rest. For instance, I’m making rolls and mashed potatoes from scratch this year for Thanksgiving. Everything else will come from a box or can, be bought from Trader Joe’s, or come from someone else’s kitchen. Everybody gets their traditional Stove Top and green bean casserole, and I’m not a total wreck.
- If it’s a busy season of life (aka. “you have 3 children under the age of 5), don’t think you have to make homemade cookies in order to visit the nursing home on Christmas Eve. Buy a box of candy canes, and head on over. The residents care more about getting a hug from your kids than they do about the cookies, anyway.
- Don’t feel responsible for everybody’s happiness. Do the best you can, make the holidays as beautiful as possible for your immediate family, and don’t worry if Aunt Sue and Aunt Hilda can’t seem to get along for 5 minutes in the same room.
- Think about how some of the different activities you plan can lead your little ones to Christ. Try again with that advent wreath, even if you only get in a couple of readings this year. Patiently explain about how the Pilgrims gave thanks to God. Make the time to order that catalog of geese and cows, and pick out some livestock to gift to a needy family with your kids.
- And remember… You’re the Matriarch now! Enjoy the power to create special, goofy, and tender traditions, and bring it on, woman! =)