Does the month of December feel like it just snuck up on you this year? Me too! Thanksgiving was later in the month than normal, and as a result the holiday season felt like it came crashing in without warning. It seems like we blinked and went from carving pumpkins and sneaking our kids Halloween candy to full on Christmas chaos! Did Thanksgiving ever even happen?


This time year has a way of getting the best of us. Are we making enough memories? Have we taken the “perfect” Christmas card picture? Have we finished shopping? Did we get the best deal? Did we forget a present for someone? When are we going to look at Christmas lights? Which Santa is best? (and doesn’t cost some ridiculous amount?) Did I move the Elf? Am I being judged for not having an Elf?

Why does everyone’s social media look like they are having the most festive happy joyous time? – And I’m over here feeling like Clark Griswold in Christmas Vacation?

Let’s all take a step back to just breath. I know, I know this is easier said than done, but just follow me….

Stop whatever it is you are doing and just breath. Let’s go over a few quick reminders to help you enjoy this holiday season.

  1. That “perfect” social media post, with kids smiling on Santa’s lap and looking like adorable cherubs who always listen….. That happened after a million snack bribes, tablet time, a promise of Chick-Fil-A and about 2 hours waiting in line at the crowded mall. It was not the “perfect” snippet you saw.
  2. Christmas (and gift giving in general) is not about the amount of money spent on a present. I am a true believer is not having a strict Christmas budget (my husband does not love this…but again follow me), I would much rather get people what they want (within reason), than make everyone’s gift match a certain amount or number. Monetary amounts may not always match, but at least I know the person getting said gift will love it.
  3. Speaking of gifts, some people are just hard to shop for, there is no shame in asking someone what they would like for Christmas. I would much rather buy someone something practical they need over trying to guess and buying them something that will end up in the donate pile come spring cleaning.
  4. Do not overcommit. Let’s say this one again: Do.Not.Overcommit. You do not have to say yes to every invite, attend 5 holidays parties in one weekend, or stay out later than those little smiling cherubs from your Christmas picture can handle. Celebrate within reason, and if it’s not a good fit or won’t be a good experience for your family, skip it. For example, if your child is going through a “I hate the car seat” phase maybe sitting for hours in a car waiting for a 2-mile light display is not a good use of your time. If baking cookies make you cringe, buy some ready-made cookie dough. Find what works best for your family. Everyone’s holiday season and traditions are unique to them.

The holidays should be a joyous time, while yes there is a bit more to do during this time of year, we shouldn’t lose sight of the importance of happiness. Take some time to just enjoy the reason. Stay home, watch a Christmas movie, put up an extra strain of twinkle lights, take a post (kid) bedtime bubble bath, eat an extra cookie, do some yoga, visit a friend for coffee. Do whatever makes you smile, as for those things that make you want to scream bah humbug! – skip them and make a new tradition!


Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

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Nicole is a mom to two children each with big personalities - Reagan is currently 4 and Tyler is 2, they are exactly 26 months apart to the day, and ever since Tyler was born life has been non-stop! She's a stay-at-home/work-at-home mom who works full time as a virtual Social Studies teacher for middle and high school students. Although she was originally from the North Hills, 10 days before Reagan was born her and her husband relocated to the South Hills. (However, within the year they will be heading back North of the city to be closer to family). Nicole would rather spend time outdoors, preferably in the fall with a good book and a cup of coffee (or glass of wine), but realistically she is generally multi-tasking between work and the kids. She does love cooking and can often be seen having dance parties in the kitchen (usually with Reagan) while making dinner.