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Unwrapping the Magic of the Holiday Season



As the holiday season unfolds, it's not uncommon to feel the weight of expectations alongside the festive cheer. In the midst of the jingle bells and twinkling lights, it's time to acknowledge and celebrate the real magic of this season… YOU. Let's unravel the reality, normalize the struggles, and find solace in the shared experience of navigating the season as the extraordinary multitaskers we are. And can we all just exhale because friends, we are TIRED.


In the Midst of Reality: Navigating the Holiday Hustle


The holiday season, though magical, can also be a source of overwhelm and guilt. The pressure to create the perfect holiday experience can feel like an additional load on our already full plates. It's crucial to recognize that the magic we create is often an overlooked (or even expected) demand of our our daily struggles and victories.


The Real Magic Makers: The Loads We Carry in this Season

1. Multitasking

 Let's be real—multitasking is less about juggling and more about managing the chaos. From work commitments to holiday prep, individuals know that sometimes it's about survival, and that's perfectly okay.

2. Culinary Realities:

 The kitchen is often a SHEfault, however, no shade if that is your jam! I just want you to know that the battlefield of burnt cookies and quick-fix dinners is perfectly okay and normal.

3. Realistic Decor:

 While we'd love to channel our inner Martha Stewart, the reality is that decorating is a marathon, not a sprint. And for some of us, it can feel like a task or event overwhelming clutter. Here is your permission slip to embrace whatever it is you need to spark YOUR joy. I can confirm we have the kitschiest of trees, filled with memories and crafts and I love it. Do I want the white lights and my husband wants exclusively the coloured lights? Yes. Will I battled this? Every.Single.Day

4. Gift-Giving Resilience:

 The pressure to find the perfect gifts can be overwhelming. Please understand that thoughtful gestures can often trump grand presents. Also know that it is hard when our kids want the biggest, most expensive gift and we have to say no. It is okay to say no. It's the love behind the gift that truly matters. We talked about this last week but set limits and when possible, gift experiences. Your presence is the present. Let’s not forget about this.

5. Memory-Making Amidst Chaos:

 Amidst work deadlines and personal commitments, carve out moments for memory-making. It's not always picture-perfect, but these genuine moments are the real magic that lasts a lifetime. And if I am being honest, I think the meltdowns are often the most memorable. I mean, was I the mom surfboard carrying my screaming toddler back to the car when he would not stop screaming for our beautiful and magical walk through of the enchanted forest? Yes. That was me.

6. Peacekeeping Reality:

 Let's face it; maintaining peace isn't always pretty. While we would love to navigate family dynamics with a blend of compromise, negotiation, and a bit of wisdom it often involves a lot of tears, anger, and blame. Take a pause and get clear on what you need. Ask from a place of worth rather than resent. Trust me. It goes a long way when you don’t feel the need to hustle for your boundaries.


Navigating the Holidays:


1. Delegate Realistically:

 It's okay to ask for help, even if it's just sharing the load of everyday tasks. Delegate with the understanding that perfection is not the goal—shared responsibility is.

2. Connect with Fellow Realists:

 Build a network of support with others. Share the struggles, swap tips, and find solace in the fact that you're not alone in the dance of work and holiday preparations.

3. Prioritize Real Joys:

 Embrace the power of 'no' to unnecessary commitments. Focus on what brings genuine joy to your family and let go of the guilt associated with not meeting unrealistic expectations. Do you really want to spend time with work after hours? Yes? Go. No? Don’t. It is unfair to expect you to give your days and evenings.

4. Tech as a Real Helper:

 Tech can really help with efficiency. Online shopping through your favourite stores (gift cards always fit!), shared calendars are a necessity, and ChatGPT for those emails you really do not want to write. The more we use tech to support us, the easier our days can become. I can appreciate the steep learning curve, but the return on this time investment is huge. Pick one thing to try and learn/change with the intent of offloading (or uploading!)

5. Gifts of Time for Real Moments:

 Ask for the gift of time. Whether it's a quiet moment alone or a day without obligations, prioritize moments of rest and rejuvenation amidst the holiday hustle. This is something I have prioritized on my birthday and it is such a gift, especially as I also relinquish myself from any guilt for choosing myself.

6. Realistic Outsourcing:

 Consider outsourcing tasks that align with your sanity rather than an unattainable standard. Whether it's ordering takeout for the holiday meal or hiring help for deep cleaning, choose what makes your life easier.


In this season of magic, let's acknowledge the real magic that we as women and mothers bring to the holidays— but let’s also acknowledge the stress, burnout and dysregulation that comes with carrying this heavy load. No one is doing it all and while we have convinced ourselves “everyone else has this figured out”, I can assure you that they do not. May this be a time of embracing the realness, finding joy in the chaos, and sharing the magic with those who matter most, in the messiness of everyday life.


~Lisa

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