This Christmas, You Drive the Sleigh

Aah, Christmas. Everyone’s favorite time of year, right? Well, yes, but for those of us (moms) responsible for all the planning, shopping, cooking, and entertaining, the holidays are not always the easiest time of year. It doesn’t have to be so. How about this year, you drive the sleigh?

Today I attended a workshop held my good friend and coach, Sheila Storrer. The topic for discussion was having the kind of holiday that we (moms) want to have.

We spent the morning talking about what’s important to us this season and how to get out of the “I should” which often leaves us frustrated and disappointed. Each of us created a plan for the month of December. I bet you are wishing that you could have been there. I wish you could have my friend. Because let me tell you, this workshop could not have come at a better time. While it’s officially not even December, all the women in attendance had lots to say about the weeks ahead. It was apparent that all the women in attendance care deeply for their children and they have the best intentions for their family’s holiday. Everyone wanted to make the holidays very special. But they also had some concerns.

Here is a sample:

  • How do I become “present” and enjoy this season with my family while managing all the demands, a full-time job, and the needs of three children?
  • How do I keep myself from getting irritated and angry in tricky family dynamics?
  • How do I make sure we have some memorable family experiences this Christmas?
  • How do I say “no” to events I don’t want to attend? Without feeling bad about it?
  • How can I still make time to exercise this month? I need exercise to stay calm and collected.
  • How do I plan activities with my families that everyone enjoys?
  • How do make sure I spend quality time with my child returning home from college?
  • How do I make sure we don’t have too much unstructured time when the kids are in their rooms gaming?


As a group, we came up with some suggestions:

1. Come up with a motto for the month. One word that you can remember and strive for during the holidays. Let’s say the word in “connection.” At the end of the day, you can reflect and evaluate how close you got, and what you can do differently.

2. Delegate tasks which you are comfortable delegating. If you are hosting a party what can you take off your plate so that you’d enjoy the evening a little more fully?

3. Hold a family meeting and get buy-in for activities. If choosing a holiday activity or even a movie is a struggle, hold a meeting and get some buy-in.

4. Give yourself an out. If you know you’ll be in a tricky family situation, where you know your patience or tolerance will be tested, give yourself a small job that you can use as an out to get away from the scene. Offer to be the one who runs to the store for last minute shopping items.

5. Have gratitude for whatever may happen. While we strive for a holiday season full of activities, perfect harmony, and cheer, we have to give ourselves a break. Maybe some of the activities you plan fall through or are not as fun as you’d hoped. Perhaps you don’t see all the friends and family you would like. However the holidays may end up playing out, know that you gave it your best and that is good enough. And please know, that we are all right there with you.


Author: Vlasta Hillger


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