The Holiday De-stress, One Year at a Time


December is the busiest month of the year. My family celebrates Hanukkah, so I usually don’t feel the standard Christmas pressure many other moms feel. I have no tree to put up and no need to take pictures with Santa. If we see him, we see him!

The dates of Hanukkah change each year, so sometimes, by December, the holiday has already begun! And some years, it happens at the end of the month, so I have plenty of time for shopping.

But what never changes is that my home is full of toys, books, clothes, and games.

Between grandparents, aunts, and other relatives giving gifts, there’s nothing left for us to buy our children. They already have everything, and now they have more! Last year, we decided they would get one Hanukkah gift from us in the form of a spring break trip to Disney World! I have to tell you that one change made all the difference.

I wasn’t running around buying anything I saw to ensure they had something to open. And they were thrilled to have the upcoming trip. So this year, we’re doing the same thing. We splurged for another big spring break trip that will have its big reveal for Hanukkah. And yet, with this massive gift-giving debacle out of my way, I still felt stressed out.

I was mindlessly scrolling on Instagram, and one of my favorite bloggers said she used to hate the holidays until her therapist told her to stop doing the things that made her hate the holidays.

And she’s right! I don’t hate the holidays, per se, but I feel pressure to get things done. So I’d already removed the stress of giving my children numerous gifts, so I dug deep to see what else was weighing me down, and this year’s de-stress moment is holiday cards.

I haven’t always done holiday cards, but I started sending them out to friends and family many years ago when my oldest daughter was small. I would take adorable pictures and do a cute design on the card website. That part was fun.

But then the pressure of checking the list, making sure I had updated addresses, stamps, who makes the list, and who is removed all got to be too much.

For a few years, I even had my life together enough to print the address labels. And once, maybe twice, I sent them to the kids’ pediatrician. I would always look longingly at the families who were organized enough to get them out right after thanksgiving, but that was never me. 

And so, once I finally gave up on them being on time, I started doing New Year’s cards. But then I had trouble finding pictures of the kids I liked for the card. I recently found a small pile from a few years ago that I must have put to the side when I ran out of stamps (so if you missed a year of my lovely cards, sorry!). And on and on and on. 

But scrolling through Instagram, I realized the cards stress me out! And when I have downtime, I don’t really want to create or address 100 envelopes. And so, this year, I’m letting go of the holiday cards. Maybe they’ll come back next year. Perhaps it will take two years.

If you’ve previously received cards from me and didn’t this year, please don’t think you didn’t make “the list.” This year, there is no list.

I’ve added a beautiful picture of my daughters to this post that I hope you enjoy. And if you want a copy for your fridge, I’ll text it to you, and you can print it out. And know, for this holiday season, by not sending out cards, I’ve given my family the greatest gift, a less stressed-out wife and mom spending my free time doing something that brings me joy and not something I dread! Happy holidays!


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