In case you haven’t been out in public recently, or gone outside to see that your neighbors have strung lights and brought pine trees into their homes and then decorated them with baubles and shiny things, I’m here to remind you.
The holidays are coming, and because they are, many of us can use a reminder on how to suck less this holiday season (a guide for the lazy).
When you’re a kid, the fact the holidays are coming is mostly a glorious thing.
For me, this year, it’s overwhelming and I haven’t had time to string lights up outside, or find a pine tree to bring into my home, and dub it a Christmas tree by adding lights, baubles, and hope. There’s also the whole thing of having to convince myself that it’s unlikely a pine tree is going to have 1,001 ticks on it, IN MY HOME.
It’s not yet December 1st, and I’ve reassured my son several times that he *probably* won’t get coal as a gift (I say *probably* because I tell him “probably,” just in case, you know? We use what we can, friends.).
I also haven’t gotten out any holiday decorations. We were out of town for Thanksgiving, so didn’t have all day Friday to battle leftover mashed-potato consumption with finding a pine tree, or digging lights out of storage, while recycling half of them because they stopped working although they were packed in clouds of fairy dust and cotton and then blessed with a special holiday spell meant to preserve fairy lights.
I haven’t done the work, friends.
I just haven’t.
I haven’t done the work, and didn’t really think about it except it’s been in the back of mind since we were in Tennessee for Thanksgiving and I knew the neighbors (YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE) were putting up lights and getting pine trees and decorating.
Their homes probably smell like cinnamon all month long but my home still smells of dirty boy socks, Nerf bullets, and the Taco Bell we dined on tonight.
The holidays are coming and I’m not ready.
I’ve been here before. I’ve had to remind myself to be a better me, over the holidays.
Luckily, I am a serial procrastinator and somehow, I manage to pull all of the things to the point of okay-enough at the last minute.
Like decorating for the holiday. Getting a Christmas tree. The other stuff, like remembering how people with special needs make us better.
Anyway. Because I’ve been here before, and found myself making a mental list to myself on how I’m going to pull this off, I thought I’d share my ideas with you.
How to Suck Less This Holiday Season (a guide for the lazy)
Know that however you do the holidays is just fine. Forget what the neighbors are doing. They either:
- Have more time than you
- Are more organized than you
- Are crazy and care what people think
Your mantra to not sucking this holiday season is to know that organized is overrated. Serial killers are organized. They see the details, and know how to clean up the mess.
You’re (hopefully) not a serial killer, and therefore, are allowed to have breakfast dishes on the table at noon and do the holidays the best way for your family. Which may – or may not – include having a tree yet.
Also? Whatever the neighbors think of you has nothing to do with who you are, or with what your kid will remember when he’s 80. Unless, you’re like one of those inside-all-the-time weed growers, or something, in which case, that’s what your kid will remember when he’s 80.
Gifts that are shipped should be purchased on sites that ship them for you. The whole idea of shopping all year and putting treasured items in a box and mailing it Friday after Thanksgiving is for other people.
And that’s okay, I promise.
People like getting stuff in the mail. It doesn’t matter if the Amazon guy brings it in that awesome blue (or silver) bag. Those bags are are a gift in addition to your gift. Like, two gifts in one, friends!
People who know you won’t be offended that you didn’t wrap their items in handmade tissue paper sourced from trees you grew yourself. Really.
Look to Charlie Brown. Remember that sad little tree he had?
That tree, and the idea of it, is one of my favorite holiday stories. I don’t need a big, fancy pine tree that won’t fit into my house. A little tree on the table is a tree in the house!
A tree in the house that doesn’t live in a pot is pretty dang special, right? ANY TREE. Or, no tree. For real.
The holidays are the holidays without risking the ticks that live on pine trees.
Matching jammies are optional. Nobody needs that, unless you’re one of those families that enter contests for “most awkward family photos” each year.
Sure, matching jammies can be cute. They can also be disastrous.
You’ve seen the photos, and I’m not good enough at stupid looking drawings to do one.
So, for one day each year? Maybe, spend the money on donuts. The kids will be just as happy.
SHINY STUFF FADES. Whatever gadgets you and/or your kids are going crazy for will, one day, become something they laugh about, or barely remember.
Example: I never got a genuine Cabbage Patch doll, and I turned out just fine.
Unless, um, maybe that’s what made me a procrastinator. Probably not, though.
Fairy lights are magical. But, they’re just as relaxing to sit next to with a cup of cider (or Jack Daniels because let’s face it – we’re talking holidays) whether there’s a professional crew with a level placing them perfectly, or whether you bundle them up into a clump and hang them from the plant holder in your room.
I know this personally because I used to have a little cluster of holiday lights hanging from the plant holder in my room.
That cluster of lights and I listened to some of the best music in history together, and there wasn’t a single moment when either of us considered straightening them out to make them more “perfect.”
It’s fine to not have Elf on a Shelf. He’s creepy. Seriously creepy. If you have one, and it works for you, boom to having something that works for you. But if you don’t have one? Your kids will be fine.
Speaking of kids, they do NOT need All. The. Things. Sure, they love opening presents, and it’s easy to get caught up in the Black Friday Moments, but really, most toys will be forgotten.
I’m planning on wrapping an empty box up and telling my son that there’s a Unicorn Fart inside.
He’ll probably remember that gift the most. I’ll be the gift he tells his kids about one day. Not the new whatever.
That’s it. That’s my advice.
Oh, and also? Like I said before, do the holidays in the way that works for you. No stressed-out mama is fun for any of us, right?
This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post. This week’s sentence is “The holidays are coming, and…”