It’s the most wonderful time of the year. And as much as I would like to enjoy it and not do laundry, dishes or have a girl home from school all day with a migraine, apparently normal life continues as well. So we are magically supposed to do all the extras of the season PLUS normal life in December. But let me tell you friend about some things that you should avoid. I’ve learned some of these lessons this year, some in past years, and then some every single year without fail because I guess I have a bad memory. All of these things will make you scream “WHAT WAS I THINKING?” So take my advice, and avoid these December disasters.
- Say “I can make that.” I frequently go places and see adorable things and think, “That is so overpriced. I could totally make that.” First of all, it is only true about 60 percent of the time that I actually possess the talent needed to make the item. I could definitely buy right supplies and come up with an awesome creative design in my head, but somehow it generally turns sour in the execution of the project. Secondly, people, this is DECEMBER. There are not extra hours, and what you think will take 45 minutes will take 6 hours. So unless you are one of those super-amazing craft people that oozes talent, you don’t want to make that. Pay the high price or give up.
- Schedule all your kids doctor and dentist check-ups this month. In the summer when you are making these appointments, it seems like not an issue. But then when it’s time to go to the appointments, it is. Somehow I’ve ended up taking 3 kids to the dentist and had scheduled all three well checkups for the month of December. (I bailed on 2 of these.) This is not a time to add stuff to the schedule. Really, if you have extra moments, you should be wrapping presents or baking cookies, right?
- Compare your tree, your wrapped gifts, your crafts….to other people’s photos. I don’t even want to go deep into this, but if you catch yourself doing it, just STOP and don’t go there. And also, remember, that the person who has the tree photo that you think is the most beautiful you’ve ever seen probably has really dirty toilets. Maybe not, but it helps to just assume this.
- Let you smallest child sign up to do an optional science fair project and then let her wait until the December school break to do the whole thing. Because yea, we haven’t started yet. This might seem silly to you, but for those of you who are familiar with my long-term unhealthy relationship with the science fair, you’ll understand. I’m thinking there will be bribery of the big children to supervise.
- Leave all of your family’s time unguarded. If you do this, I can almost guarantee you that the world will find a way to steal all the moments, and at least one member of your family will always be doing something other than spending time with you. “Family time” will not just happen, and there are seasonal Christmas moments that you just really want to have with all your people together. Look at the schedule and carve out an hour here and there. Then, be willing to fight for them like any other scheduled commitment.
If you happen to fall into any of these traps, here are some of my quick tips for rescuing December: Amazon Prime, pre-made cookie dough, and the dollar store. You’re welcome.