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Burnout

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Can you even believe that Christmas is only a few days away? We spent the weekend doing the things we should have done earlier—cutting down the tree, decorating said tree and making the Christmas cutout cookies. I don’t know why these things all seem so magical in theory, but the reality is that nobody seems to get much enjoyment out of any of it. The kids fight over who gets to hang which ornament and who is decorating which cookie, with what icing and it goes on and on and on. Instead of telling them about all the special ornaments, I am mediating and yelling “Wait, don’t touch that one!” and cleaning up broken shards of glass (Thanks Liv). I am left frazzled, and though we end up with a decorated tree, and a tray of sugar cookies I’m also left with a huge mess to clean up in the form of icing smears and lopsided ornament clumps and…well, you get the picture.

I’m really struggling here. I want my kids to have great Christmas memories that aren’t just about waking up on Christmas morning to a mountain of presents under the tree. I want to have traditions that we all enjoy together and look forward to every year. I want things to be seamless and fun and stress free. Does that not exist? Can I force it to exist somehow?

I did that portable north pole thing for the kids last week and psyched them up for a big surprise. They watched their videos from Santa in turn, and I was sure their little minds were being blown. And then Lucy said “You know mom, when you said you had a surprise for us, I thought it would be better…like a present or something.” It doesn’t seem like I can win.

I am officially on Christmas burnout, and I haven’t even wrapped yet. I know it will all be worth it in the end. I will have smiling, grateful kids. But right now, it’s hard to see the light.

7 responses »

  1. Oh, this is so frustrating. Honestly, I think they'll have good memories of Christmas no matter what… but if certain things aren't that fun right now, there's nothing wrong with putting them off for another year or two. Maybe there is some sort of city activity you could take them to that would be less stressful? Like a parade of lights or something? Or would they be bored by that too?

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  2. I think the experiences—and memories—happen with older kids.

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  3. I hear you, sister. I really, really do.Sigh.

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  4. I feel this way on vacation, too. Like, you are supposed to make everything fun and awesome and so much is expected of you: The Mom.But really, it is a frack-load of work with seemingly little payoff, you know?

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  5. Oh AMEN SISTER! I haven't wrapped a thing and am on the verge of taking it all back. I'm tired, grouchy and frustrated with my kids' inability to be nice to each other or me. I keep listening to Christmas music hoping it will turn it all around but instead it makes me grumpier.Ugh.I feel your pain.

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  6. I find myself STILL monopolizing the cookie-making because I just can't DEAL with the kids and the mess and…well, at least I do let them decorate them. By golly, Mary is at least old enough to roll and cut, tho–let it go, woman!Also a side note that due to Amazon, now THREE of Mary's b-day gifts from the out of town families are going to be late. Sold out or Order canceled the DAY it was supposed to be delivered (um…WHAT?). Here, let's just blur your b-day with x-mas a bit MORE, shall we? I'm going to remind her how it stretches out the fun of receiving gifts that much longer.BTW: LOVELY card. (Wish we'd been able to get it together enough to get some photos done.)

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  7. Sometimes the build up to Christmas is the hardest part. I just went bezerk this evening cleaning up the house. If I'd had the energy I probably would've taken all the Christmas decor down too. I just had enough of the piles of cards, toys, and other gifts and boxes all over the place. It's much better now. And the Christmas tree and decorations can come down when I have time Thursday.

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