10 Tips for Moms to Survive the Holidays

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We all know it’s the most wonderful time of the year, but there is so much pressure to create perfect moments and memories, give the perfect gift, all the while remembering to connect with friends and loved ones. Quite frankly, the holidays are exhausting, and with four kids who have end of year parties, Secret Santa exchanges, holiday concerts and a last push on schoolwork before the break, any mom would be tempted to hold up the white flag. Not to mention kids have their wish lists (also known as their list of demands, disguised as wishes).  As a result, I have compiled a list of things I will try to do to make the holiday less cluttered, so I can savor the moments with my family.

To start I will tell the kids:

1.  Santa is on a cleansing diet so he can fit into his big red suit, so he’s not available for any requests yet, and he doesn’t want us to make him cookies or treats of any kind.

2.  The Elf On The Shelf is planning to be extra naughty this year so you’d better bring you’re “A” game and best behavior if there are going to be any presents in this house.

3. Then show your kids a picture of mass chaos (like the day Apple starts selling the iPhone 6) and say, “All these people are in line for unlimited texting, so I don’t think it’s in the cards for you any time soon.”

4. Don’t feel guilty for giving your kids exactly what they ask for. You shouldn’t be creative in finding the perfect gift. Your only reward will be giant teardrops.

5. Buy your own gifts this year, then wrap them up and put them in your husband’s closet.  When he sees them, just say, “You’re welcome,” and walk out. And when your husband says the same thing he says every year, “Don’t get me anything. I don’t need anything and don’t want to spend the money,” take him up on it for once. Give him a hammer and a list of chores.

6. Don’t under any circumstances buy into the notion that Black Friday is a ‘must’-shopping shopping day. You will never complete your shopping as you will be run over by crazy moms on a mission using shopping carts as weapons. Besides the sales will continue into the season anyway.

7. Don’t feel guilty about having a nicer outfit and shoes than your child. They don’t really want to wear them anyway. Remember there will be plenty of photo ops, so make a point to have good hair and nails. Photo bombing makes you feel young, so be ready and create those opportunities!

8. Secretly create the hashtag #secretsantasucks. Then grab a glass of wine each night, vent anonymously and read all the other comments. This will help you appear sane through the holiday mayhem.

9.  When your children are exhausted and arguing, it is understandable. They’ve just executed a fall schedule that could kill a rhinoceros. Create holiday cheer coupons worth a dollar each, and give them one if they can change the fight into merriment on the spot. It’s like a dollar value menu for moms.

10. Buy baked items at the gourmet grocery store. Recut them and place them in a beautiful box with a sprinkle of powered sugar. If it’s for a class party, add raspberries on the side.

I actually love the holidays, it’s a time of thanks and re-connection. However, having a few tricks up my sleeve doesn’t hurt, and frees me up to be filled with holiday cheer.

I actually love the holidays, a time of thanks and re-connection. But having a few tricks up my sleeve will leave me freed up and filed with holiday cheer.

Eileen Wacker, a Harvard Business School graduate, has lived and worked in seven different countries, including the United States. Wacker is also the multiple award winning author of theFujimini Adventure Series for children and the upcoming book for women, The Mom’s Code. For more information, please visit: www.oncekids.com.