The ‘to do’ list on my kitchen bench is all that is keeping my sh*t together right now.
The crazy lead up to Christmas is in full swing and while I am totally team Santa, the cracks in my gingerbread house are starting to show.
Just when I think I am in front, I discover another note in the school bag or an unexpected bill floats in. There is a lot of effort and energy that goes towards making Christmas a ‘relaxing’ and ‘special’ time with our loved ones.
The Christmas list I have
Here are a few points that are very likely to be on your kitchen bench list right now…
- Wrap presents and find a better hiding spot than last year.
- Prepare an allergy free, nude, healthy plate of food for the kinder break up party
- Re-enrol kids in swimming lessons for 2019 before they lose their spots
- Buy KK gift for each of the kid’s school classes
- Find the Santa stockings
- Check car in for service before Christmas road trip
- Allocate food amongst the in-laws for Christmas lunch on the 23rd
- Get bon bons and napkins
- Buy batteries. Lots of them. All sizes.
- Get kids to write cards for their teachers
… and so on and so forth until we want to scream
The Christmas List I want instead
While my mind zings along with ALL THE STUFF I NEED TO DO, I can’t help but think about what I really want my list to say.
1. Play Christmas carols
Switch on elf radio (trust me…it’s a thing) and teach the kids the words and actions to Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and other Christmas carols.
2. Choose a family Christmas movie
The Grinch is always a winner in our house. But DON’T use it as a babysitter whilst you frantically tick things off that bloody list. Sit down and watch a family Christmas movie with them. Pull the curtains, make popcorn and switch the Christmas lights on.
3. Plan an epic candy cane hunt in the garden.
I detest those sticky, minty hooks, but my kids adore them and they LOVE treasure hunts nearly as much.
4. Go see the cousins.
Even though they are also frantically juggling graduations, work commitments and concerts, MAKE IT HAPPEN. Watch the kids play together and remind yourself that the effort for family time is ALWAYS worth it.
5. Get online
Find out the free things to do in your town or city in the lead-up to Christmas. Lock in a time to do it and make it happen. These are memory makers.
6. Be sincere.
Don’t just breezily tell a friend you will ‘catch up over Christmas.’ Make a date and stick with it.
7. Make paper chains and Christmas tree lanterns.
I am NOT a crafty kinda mummy, but I do love the simplicity of the classic chains. Get the older kids to write Christmas messages on them.
8. Go outside
Take the kids for a night drive to spot the Christmas lights or simply have a stroll in the daytime and play “Spotto Santa”.
9. Find your local Christmas Carols
Get down there and sing loudly. Show the kids that you can belt out Jingle Bells with the best of them.
10. Pick up the phone
Ring someone you’ve been meaning to call for ages but keep putting off.
11. Cull the broken Christmas decorations
Be strong. (Unless they are the kids’ homemade ones from when they were little. Keep those ones close.)
12. Make a donation
If you must face the shops, don’t just walk past the Christmas Wishing Tree Appeal that most centres have running. Teach the kids about the spirit of giving. Remind the kids just how lucky they are.
13. Hang some mistletoe.
Kiss more. Let the kids squeal in excited disgust.
14. Bond with your brood
Remember that the kids might only be part of this lead up time with you for 18 wild and wonderful years. Perspective is a wonderful gift.
I really need to listen to my own words. Really, I want this second list to be mine. I want to hold #14 tight and remind myself of this when it all starts to get too much.
But I will say this to you….
Be kind to yourself.
And finally… breathe. This is supposed to be a time of peace, joy and goodwill.
If you are trying to get your jingle jolly back on, hop over and take a look at why Santa is real.