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Do you ever hope the holidays could just happen without you? As if you could sit in the corner with a big glass of wine and watch everyone else do all the work while you take your time to finally relax?
We all know how overwhelming and draining the holidays can become. The stress is always there, no matter how hard you might try to avoid it. But don’t fret, because here are some tips to help you find some mommy time and navigate the holidays without losing your mind!
• Have peace of mind. You know there will be lots of yummy food and drink, but don’t stress yourself out on the day of the holiday! Let yourself exercise extra hard the week before and after to get yourself mentally and physically prepared. You deserve that indulgence anyway.
• Decide in advance who is cooking what and take charge, so you can pick whatever isn’t going to overwhelm you. If you plan things right, you won’t have to worry about anything but the green beans.
• Plan ahead for anything that could possibly go wrong, especially travel delays. If you’re traveling to your holiday party, make sure you have some travel-sized board games or lots of new apps downloaded for the kids so you have one less thing to worry about.
• Once you arrive to wherever it is you’re celebrating the holiday, make sure to immediately put all the kids together with the grandparents. It will give you the chance to enjoy some adult time, and your parents or in-laws will finally see those glowing faces they’ve missed so much.
• Have a designated camera man. This will let you sit back and enjoy the moments that you will tell stories about for years to come, rather than constantly scrambling for your camera to capture the moment — only to then realize it’s already over.
• If you are hosting the holidays at your home, get ready in advance! There is no harm in decorating the night before, or, if you prefer to do the dinner yourself, prepping some of the food, so it’s practically ready to be popped in the oven when guests arrive.
• Go buffet style! There is no need to serve everyone his own plate or pile up the dinner table with food. If you put everything in a separate place, then guests can serve themselves. This way, you can keep the table surface simple with some beautiful seasonal flowers as a centerpiece. (Bonus point: if the food isn’t right in front of you, it will stop you from reaching over for thirds.)
• Make it fun! Set up a Wii or some kind of fun family game, like charades or a talent show, that everyone can participate it to lighten the mood and get everyone laughing.
• Make cleanup a group effort. Don’t do the dishes — if you know that’s only going to stress you out, save that for the next day. Until then, have everyone put the leftovers into containers together, so the time goes by quickly and you keep it social, rather than taking yourself out of the conversation and feeling isolated from the festivities.
• Treat yourself when it’s all over. Maybe that means having a warm bubble bath with a big glass of wine, or asking your loved one for a well-deserved foot rub (because I KNOW you weren’t wearing comfy shoes).
No matter what your holiday plans are this year, always find something to be thankful for! If it’s Christmas, Hanukkah, or New Year’s Eve, don’t let yourself get caught up in your mental to-do list. Enjoy the celebration and embrace the little things you might have missed otherwise.
Happy holidays, and have a FabuLYSS New Year.
Lyss Stern is the founder of DivaMoms.com and co-author of best-selling book “If You Give A Mom A Martini … 100 Ways to Find 10 Blissful Minutes for Yourself.”
©2012 Community Newspaper Group
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