I Will Not Let The Holidays Kick My ….

AUTHOR: | POSTED: November 12, 2012 | COMMENTS: 9 Comments
CATEGORIES: Faith, Health & Safety, Holidays, Love This...Not So Much,

Carolyn Savage

I swear I’ve written this on a mental chalk board a thousand times this past week.  It’s my new mantra and I’m repeating it to myself over and over again, trying to convince the skeptic in me that a chaos free holiday is possible this year. 

I can do this.  I will do this. 

How hard can it be?

Years ago I had it down.  Even the years I was working full time, I figured out a way to get my Christmas house in order.  Decorating (indoor and out) was always done early…but not too early.  Cards were creatively crafted, licked and stamped no later than the 18th.  Presents were bought, organized, and wrapped long before the big day.  And, I loved every second of the business.  It was as if I was dancing a Christmas can-can down my street wrapped in lights and glittering garland, while dribbling an artfully decorated snowball and slam dunking it on Christmas day.

Christmas 2010…I had this down!

 Somehow, last year, things changed.

I’ve found myself dreading dragging the decor boxes out of the crawl space, and the cards…ugh.  Considering last year was the first time I’ve ever had to wrap anything hours before Santa arrived, instead of dancing a Yuletide victory dance, I huddled in the corner with a wine cooler (not even an egg nog) chugging until I collapsed into the fetal position.  Christmas beat me last year. 

This year I’ll do better.

I’m organizing my plan of attack, which translates to realistically prioritizing and accepting my role as the mother to five…three of who are very high maintenance at the moment.

So, I’ve been thinking about what my biggest priority should be and have decided it’s about the way my family feels about the holiday.  What is their take-away? 

I want them to celebrate love this time of year.  Of course, I want them to feel loved every day of their lives, but this time of year is an outward act of love towards those that we hold dear.  It’s about  a time to take solace in the blessings we’ve been given.  Time spent together is critical to my kids understading what our family is all about.  That means pushing some of the doing aside in favor of dwelling in the experience. 


Not really, but there is some reality that definitely comes into play.  Particularly the fact that it’s my job to engineer the entire shindig.  What I’ve learned is that if I’m running around like a lunatic muttering obscenities under my breath about rogue Christmas lights, and burned cookies, the ambiance is affected. 

My mother-in-law is infamous for getting her holiday tasks completed early.  I mean…way early.  In fact, I’m sure her Christmas cookies are already baked, tucked away in her freezer.  I used to wonder why she felt the need to get the holiday chores picked off so ahead of schedule, and now that I have a small tribe under my guise, I get it.  There was a time in her life that she was managing nine children in her house.  Think about pulling Christmas off for nine kids…um…without crying.  Now I can see that her need to check off her shopping in October was actually an investment in her mental health.  Doing holiday chores early is an exercise in self defense. 

Shear brilliance.

So, I have revamped my holiday plan of attack and am getting my ducks in a row earlier than ever.  I started last week by picking off one of my first chores.  My mother-in-law smartly gives me money for each child. My charge is to buy their gifts from her.  She wraps them and gives them on Christmas Eve (I said she was brilliant…right?).  This year, instead of running around last minute trying to get my act together on her behalf, I picked her list off first.  Saturday morning I piled all the gifts in the car, and proudly delivered them to her…on November 10th.  She was giddy.  I was giddier.

Boo-yah.  Score one for the new Christmas Carolyn. 

I realize that the chores of the holidays are not really what the holiday is supposed to be about.  I have also learned that in order to get my family to focus on what the holiday is all about, I need to have my act together.  This year it’s “game on” Christmas. 

I will win…even if it kills me.


Make sure you tune into 101.5 on Wednesday morning.  I’ll be sharing three do-ahead Thanksgiving day recipes that will ease the chaos of the Turkey Day kitchen and render you a happier chef!

Do you have any tricks to simplifying the holidays?  Do tell.  I’m begging you!




9 Comments on “ I Will Not Let The Holidays Kick My …. ”

  • lynda crossman | November 12th, 2012 12:16 pm

    Your competitive side is showing my friend..LOL.

    Well cookies are made and in the freezer for both thanksgiving and christmas..I have alot of gifts in the back of the van..already.

    I have the turkey day shirts ready to be sewed.. The christmas tshirt and santa hat ready to go.

    I have to a few more gifts to get and a family picture to be taken but other than that…food is planned..just have to pick up some of the fixing…and then I want a calm and peaceful holiday. Those are my wishes for you too my friend.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Alexandra | November 13th, 2012 4:05 am

    Good lucks! I am sure you’ll do fine – the basic thing is to have plan! I always get either too excited or too nervous. I can’t seem to just keep calm..this year I will try it harder than usuall 😉

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Four Plus an Angel (Facebook Comment) | November 13th, 2012 12:36 pm

    I keep telling myself the same thing, I actually wrote an article about it that is coming out later this week. Maybe we need a daily mantra to recite

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Amy Kaczmarek Aubry (Facebook Comment) | November 13th, 2012 12:37 pm

    Only 42 day, 6 hours and 6 minutes! I know you love me

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Debbie Byroade Schaaf (Facebook Comment) | November 13th, 2012 12:38 pm

    Debbie Byroade Schaaf The Schaafs are doing something very different for us this year. We are exchanging names within our family. With a $25.00 limit. Gone are the days of new , energy efficient washer and dryer the newly weds. No new furniture for the first bachelor pad. Additionally, the pile s of clothes and “fun” toys and the newest electronic gadgit. AND, this was the kids idea. This year we will not ask what the person you have drawn wants. We must take out $25.00 and find something very special that fits your person, perfectly. Daddy will not play Santa with a million inch TV for “the family”. This year, we are worshiping Jesus. Christ really is the reason fo rthe season. Santa will still come for our little 3 yr old, but Toys r Us will not deliver one of everything in the Barbie, Pony, Lalaloopsy isle. Yes, we will still sponser a family. We will take a tag off the top of the tree at church. But we will not stress ourselves with making sure everyone has the same number of packages, or that money was evenly spent. WE will decorate like we usually do. gone are the days of spending hours at the mall, more hours wrapping. This was not a finacial decision (although that is a great idea). This was to remove so much stress for everyone . I’m not a big baker, but now I may have time to do that. BAke with my Kelsey. Make those kinds of memories. And, I cant wait. christmas day will be spent , together as a family. I am so proud of my kids. T HEY had to talk us into this!!!!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Angela Bonner (Facebook Comment) | November 13th, 2012 12:38 pm

    This had som good advice

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • lynda crossman | November 14th, 2012 6:11 pm

    I have developed a gift system many yrs ago.. 3 gifts was good enough for Jesus– so it be good enough for all of us.. anything else is a bonus… The little ones might get a set of dinosaurs and that is one gift. games can be a household gift.. meals etc… are a given and the love is great!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Thanksgiving Prep: Choosing Eagerness over Anxiety | Mama On The Fly | November 19th, 2012 12:05 pm

    […] cooking-packing-coordinating expert“) I get excited not because my work load is lightening (it’s not), but instead because I know what is […]

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • My One Legged Version of Holiday Crunch Time | Mama On The Fly | December 9th, 2013 1:38 pm

    […] written before how after the birth of the twins the holidays have kicked my ass.  In fact, the past three Christmas’ have found me huddled on my bed come the 25th night […]

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Your Comments are Welcome!

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.