The holidays can mean lots of regrets and learning for parents. Don’t Make The Same Christmas Mistakes I Did. This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.
Don’t Make The Same Christmas Mistakes I Did
Ever had an SD card go bad? I had an old camera card that was corrupted – with over 2,000 photos on it. I spent hours researching, extracting, and ultimately saving a year of memories trapped and almost lost forever. It was tense at times – as I’m an the ultimate picture hoarder and couldn’t bear to think that I had a whole year of memories that were going to be gone forever.
It was on this card that I came across our Christmas photos from 2 years ago. I had forgotten all about these moments – when my son made the biggest “O” face over a LEGO set, the absolutely joy through the eyes of my then 3-year old daughter. And a few rare family photos, rigged on top of a stack of books and a rushed 10 second timer. And OH MY GOODNESS – was that my hair?!
I can’t believe that I was so close to losing these magical Christmas moments forever. But as I flipped through the photos, I’ve also realized that I’ve learned a lot in just two Christmases too. This time of year always has me reflective – maybe it’s the holiday magic, maybe it’s because the year is coming to a close soon – but often times I look back on a Christmas moment and say “what the heck was I thinking?” Don’t make the same Christmas mistakes I did, parents. Here’s some wisdom that we could all use this season.
Finding the Perfect Gift
Confession: I love to find the perfect gift for someone.
Also confession: I’ve also cried when I didn’t find the perfect gift.
I’ve got issues, and gifting the perfect gift is one of them. I don’t know why, but my joy feels incomplete if I don’t absolutely LOVE the gift I’m about to give. But when the days close in and I’m still panicking over finding that unique gift…it becomes one of those terrible Christmas mistakes.
Making sure everyone has equal “awesomeness,” the right number of gifts, and spent the same amount on presents – I have a tendency to obsess over stuff. Not only do I make lists, but I have to lay out all gifts to touch, look and make sure that everyone in our family feels like they are loved…with stuff. Even as I type this, I can see how ridiculous this thinking is. Christmas is NOT about stuff or how many presents people get. It really isn’t about the gifts – it’s about the giving. Even I still need this reminder.
Hyper Fixating on Wrapping
Do you have Santa paper? How about extended family paper? Even go as far as making sure you have the fancy bows and ribbons for the people you’re trying to impress? Oh, and let’s not even go there with how I need straight lines when I cut paper. Or exactly where tape needs to be affixed…OCD, absolutely. But honestly, is Christmas about the wrapping, especially when my kids don’t even notice the print half of the time?
Jam Packing Our Schedule
Theme park hopping, ice skating, Christmas movies under the stars…we love to pencil in as many holiday events as possible during the month of December. Every weekend full, every night with something – we overextend our families so we have don’t have Christmas FOMO. But we’re so busy doing all of the things, we forget about the quality time our kids crave. They don’t need fancy events – they just need us. Why do we fear doing “nothing?” If anything, Christmas is the time to really enjoy and relax in those “nothing” moments. So saying no to the hot cocoa dates and the ICE sculptures and the media events is hard – but I’m learning from past Christmas mistakes to really slow it down with our schedules and just enjoy quality time with my kids.
Staying Up Until 3 am on Christmas Eve
If only I planned a little better…I tell myself every year that I’m going to start earlier. The day after Christmas, a New Year’s goal, the latest by Halloween. But every time Christmas Eve rolls around, I’m up until all hours wrapping, rewrapping, perfectly staging presents under the tree…what the hey? And then walking around Christmas as a sleepy zombie – it’s a horrible sacrifice that even the best concealer can’t cover. Get sleep on Christmas Eve, parents. Plan better and just do it.
Ignoring Self Care
How many Christmases have you spent sick? Exhausted? With a migraine? I’ll be the first to say that the holiday stress gets to me. Don’t ignore your body, parents. If you’re starting to get sick or feel a headache coming on, it’s a warning sign that you’re doing too much. Take the time to give yourself a timeout and relax. Get a massage, a nap, a bath, say no, take your vitamins and rest.
If I don’t have the flu, I’m usually fighting allergies, sinus pressure and a huge headache every single day. Thank goodness for whoever invented over-the-counter headache medicine, but often times I’m too “busy” to stop and take care of myself. Don’t be like me. But before reaching for the Christmas gift of ibuprofen or acetaminophen, use this FREE personalized pain reliever tool from KnowYourOTCs.org. This free tool is an amazing way to analyze your personal history, lifestyle, and medication usage to see what medicine and dosage is safe for you. Take the quick checklist to see if your medicine is safe this Christmas season – and don’t ignore self care!
Avoiding the Christmas Photos
Bedhead, no makeup, and huge bags under my eyes – it’s the perfect excuse for me to say “You know what, I’ll take the Christmas photo.” But as much as I’d like to believe that this is saving the family from a ruined Christmas photo, this photo isn’t just for me. The kids don’t care what you look like that morning, or how you frantically tried to fix your hair and rub the sleepies out of your eyes. They’re going to look back at the photo and say “where was Mom?” Those family pictures are everything, especially during the holidays. So jump in the photos, Mom. Because that photo is more than your bedhead, no makeup and bags – it’s a visual representation of LOVE on Christmas.
Not Embracing the Little Moments
Why is Christmas my favorite holiday? It’s not about the gifts or the tree or the cookies. It’s about the joy I see in my kids’ faces. It’s not about the big events or the extravagant decorations. Those little moments, they mean so much. And if I blink, I could miss them. Don’t let Christmas pass you by without appreciating the simple joys in life.
I admit that I have made many, Many, MANY mistakes as a parent. And the Christmas mistakes are endless as well. But learning to say no, embracing the little moments, taking care of myself – these are all holiday mistakes that are fixable. Do yourself a favor this Christmas and NOT make the same Christmas mistakes as I did. Let’s do better this Christmas. And don’t forget self care! Use the 2-minute FREE pain reliever tool now, so you know what medicine is safe to use this stressful season.
What Christmas mistakes need fixing in your life?
I am a #KnowYourOTCs blogging ambassador, compensated by the CHPA’s Educational Foundation in support of KnowYourOTCs.org. All opinions are my own. No little hands touched the OTC medicines (I’m a pediatric nurse, remember?) and teeth were promptly brushed following these pictures. Be sure to follow Raising Whasians via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube for more family travel tips, delicious recipes, and kid crafts.