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How to Suck Less This Holiday Season (a guide for the lazy)

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.

cabbage patch doll then and now

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.”

Teenage girl lying on floor 80s floyd_edited-3


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…”

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  • Emily - Wait, there are ticks on Christmas trees??! Ok, now i understand why people get artificial trees. That may be us this year!!November 30, 2017 – 10:45 pmReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - SORRY!!! I don’t know if it’s true or not, but I read a story once, and there were ticks, and they went out of town and and and and…. and now I’m paranoid about this! But maybe it’s just me (except ticks do actually live in pine trees, right?) GAH. SORRY!!!
       November 30, 2017 – 10:52 pmReplyCancel

  • Dana - I’m not sure how I survived before online shopping – I love being able to get most of my gifts while in my pajamas. Unicorn farts…that is genius! One of the perks of not celebrating Christmas is that I am much less stressed in December than most people. I hope you follow your own guide and are able to enjoy the season, Kristi!

    Signed, Your organized-but-not-a-serial-killer friend Dana 🙂December 1, 2017 – 9:32 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - HAHA now I just have to remember to DO IT. I thought of it while writing this because Tucker will LOVE that, but I need to make a note in my calendar so I’m sure to remember. And yay to not being a serial killer (not that I had any doubt). xoxo December 2, 2017 – 10:09 pmReplyCancel

  • Lisa L. - This is fabulous. So much truth. So much wisdom. Here’s to a lazy, non-sucky holiday! Cheers! xoDecember 1, 2017 – 1:21 pmReplyCancel

  • Kerry - Lovely post Kristi. May I share?

    Just thinking and talking and sharing all the holiday traditions, I always loved that CB special and his sad little tree. Many decorations are at odds with my cat since I got him three years ago. I do have a set of lights strung around the inside of my bedroom window. My ex did this and I like having them so close. I can hardly see Christmas lights anymore and that makes me sad sometimes, but my mom knows and understands and works to put some up, in only white because red are invisible to me now, all over the outside of my house in the hopes I can still enjoy them.

    Yay for all moms at this time of year and all year round, including you, even if you don’t think you’re anything but lazy about it all.

    My brother and his wife have begun the elf on a shelf thing with their two kids and I am glad they love it. Yeah, still a little creepy to me.

    We all really do just need to do what works for us and our families. Nobody else matters in this case.

    Love your point about the serial killers. Organized isn’t always a positive trait in everyone.

    I am writing a lot about Christmas tradition, but was unwell and missed participating in this one. Still, I love yours and will go read the other submissions.December 4, 2017 – 12:51 amReplyCancel

    • Kristi Campbell - Thank you, Kerry! I’d love for you to share if you’d like to! I’ve heard a few stories about how tree decorations and cats aren’t the best combination. That’s nice that your mom puts up the white lights outside – can you still see them a bit? LOL to the elf on the shelf. I think it’s really creepy but sometimes worry that I made Tucker miss out on something that so many kids really enjoy. I briefly considered getting one when he was tiny, but saw a huge display at Target and I don’t know – I just couldn’t get into it. Oh well. Probably too late now anyway! Tucker still believes in Santa although I don’t know how long that will last. I’m going to go read what you’ve written about Christmas tradition now. Sorry you missed out on this one but I’ll have another holiday prompt this month – feel free to link up one you’ve already written! December 5, 2017 – 12:37 pmReplyCancel

  • Kenya G. Johnson - LOL to unicorn fart. There’s a prank box at Bed Bath and Beyond, I really want to go back and get it. It’s says something like it’s an ear wax cleaning kit. I’m always on Christopher about cleaning his ears and I saw that prank boxes and that was too funny. I could put a gift card inside but the look on his face to that would be priceless. Ok I’m going to get it. What’s 20% off of $3.99. I have a million BB&B coupons.

    My house finally smells like cinnamon. My parents were here and they decorated the day after Thanksgiving. My mom brought me some stuff she didn’t need and they got me in the mood to decorate. So I was done on November 30th and tweaked over the weekend. I’m not usually on board until after our birthday’s mid month. But it certainly does get you in the mood to go and buy a prank box. 😉

    Future tip for undoing it all – an excellent audiobook!December 6, 2017 – 9:16 amReplyCancel

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