It’s that time of year! Christmas tree lit in the background, stockings complement the glowing embers in the fireplace, your kids spend evenings at your feet laughing together over a board game, you are curled up on the couch under a homemade quilt with a good book, while your always sensitive husband asks about your day. Ahhhh. So perfect.
Too bad it isn’t reality, right? Like, it is not even in the same hemisphere as your reality!
Between Hallmark, Christmas commercials, and Pinterest, it’s no wonder us moms teeter on felonies this time of year. And to add salt to the wound, we are expected to do our part in building lasting memories with our children, making homemade wonders to show off on Facebook in our daily one-upping of our friends and family – all in the Christmas spirit, of course.
However, it is what it is and we will survive. We may as well get started.
Here are some survival tips:
- Scour the Internet for preschool-level ideas, gather materials, set the mood and tell others about it so they can burst with anticipation and creep your FB page for proof. It will be a much welcome reprieve from reading about what you just ate.
- Pour a glass of wine to buy you some more time and patience.
- Carefully consider the consequences of cancelling entire debacle and frantically think of other less -involving ideas to distract your kids from participating in this family night. After all, broken promises and disgruntled childhoods ensure that all adults have a shrink on retainer.Everyone wins!
- Do some of the crafts yourself, so that you at least have something positive to show on Facebook. Tell your kids that you only got started earlier to make them a guide or work out the kinks in the design. Or just hide yours for now and bring them out after this fun-filled night concludes and you are ready to take pictures.
- Pour more wine, turn on some Christmas music and happily call to your kids that it’s time!
- Mentally let go of all preconceived notions that this activity will go as planned. You will feel so much lighter without this hope.
- Devote 100% of your focus on your own craft (or your wine) and limit eye contact with your kids and/or their projects. Throw out some awwws and ooohs and good jobs to your kids, but do.not.look. It is way too painful to watch what they have done to your simple ideas facelifted from your friends.
- By now, it’s been 4 minutes so the fighting is imminent. Wait for it….”Moooooooooooooommmmmmmm! Heeeeee hit/messed up/looked at me funny (does it really matter what happened? The gods have shown you favor with this perfect out. Just.take.it.)
- Take the next 30 minutes to clean up the debris from this explosion, mourn the loss of your antique dinner table that will now be forever marked with glitter glue and wonder silently to yourself if your children are even capable of following any directions.
- Turn to your wine, find laughter in their creations and change the whole spin on this evening!
For example, my little angels completely disregarded my instructions and created no less than 20 pictures of military combat related “Christmas ornaments” – so in other words, they did what they wanted, ran an ornament hangar through the entire 8×11 paper and hung them from windows.
I did manage to get them to at least try my ideas: (the perfect ones are mine.)