I genuinely love the holidays and the quality time with family and friends. It is a magical time of year. I love the decorations, the glitter, the baked goods, and the activities with my littles. BUT the mental load of bringing the mama magic this time of year is palpable. I begin to feel the pressure each Halloween like clockwork. I work on my excel spreadsheet of the budget and gift ideas. Are we doing Christmas pictures this year? Should we do Christmas cards? What weekends are we traveling to see which side of the family? When are the work holiday parties? As the designated family logistics coordinator, my to-do list grows and grows towards the end of the year. On top of it, both of my children are born within days of Christmas. Then, I must fit a joint birthday party in the mix of all of that AND make sure that it feels extra special for my December babies.
As a child, Christmas was full of magic. The thing that I did not realize about those special moments that I loved so much were created by my parents and extended family. I feel the weight to make the holidays special for those I love SO much more as a mom. My first step at the beginning of the season is to breathe. Breathing always helps. I also remember that somehow, I manage each year. I do. I make my list and check it twice. The sooner I can get the presents bought and tucked away, the sooner I can settle into the magic of the season. Once my Christmas tree is up and I’m decorating cookies with my littles, I see that it is worth all the busyness, time, and energy.
2020 was the first year that I did not get to spend Easter, Thanksgiving, or Christmas with my big extended family or my husband’s big extended family due to Covid. I would make that choice all over again to keep my loved ones safe, but the holidays were not the same! I missed the chaos, the traditions, and spending time surrounded by those I love most. I’m excited that it is finally safe enough to get together again with family and friends. Time with loved ones is a gift that I will not take for granted after going through a pandemic. As an extrovert, I need that time to connect around the holidays. I feel incredibly lucky to be able to do that this year.