It’s December! It’s time to string the popcorn, cut down your tree and do all the beautiful things we feel like December expects from us. We all know that mama conducts this merry Christmas train. But what about when mama loses her merry? Then what? What if mama’s just not feeling it? Losing your merry happens to the best of us.
Ask me how I know.
I’ve had really wonderful Christmases. And really difficult Christmases too. This mom life is hard. We struggle with stuff–anxiety, depression, overwhelm, daily stress. Life has a way of handing us illness, money troubles, family difficulties, marriage issues, teenage angst and December hits and we suddenly feel this pressure to flip a switch into happy, Christmas elf mode.
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I currently have my Christmas bullet journal working for me, full of gift lists and reminders. I have done a big chunk of Christmas shopping. But this first part of this Christmas season started out as a struggle for me.
Decorating felt like climbing Mount Everest.
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And I didn’t feel like the extra work of Christmas. At all.
SO what can we do when the merriment is lacking? Because more than anything, we all just want to create some magic and memories for our children. And mama can’t be a downer if that’s going to happen.
Let’s get real, mama
I am a lot of things, but one thing I am not is fake. My kids see right through my faked attempts at being boppy when I’m not. The jig is up before it begins. SO instead, let’s get real about how we feel, mamas.
Here’s how I faced my feelings head on.
1. I realized why I didn’t want to decorate–because there were several looming (small) house projects that I had been waiting to get done and piling up Christmas crap on top of unfinished projects felt really uninspiring.
My fix: We had a work day the first Saturday of the month. Instead of decorating, we cleaned, purged, and finished the unfinished projects. Just clearing off my countertops made me feel more into the Christmas mode!
2. I didn’t feel like the extra work of Christmas. But here’s what I decided: no one is telling me I have to do all the things! Nobody but my own guilty conscience, that is.
My fix: I talked to my kids. I told them I wanted to have a really chill December. I took several things off our calendar that I just didn’t want to do. We normally have this tradition of fun little cards appearing each day with an activity printed on them. This was totally stressing me out. So I told me kids we would still do fun things but the cards weren’t coming out this year.
Guess what? No one batted an eye.
I’m in a tired season of life. I don’t have a newborn but I have a teenager and a toddler and two others in between and I’m just tired. That counts for something and I need to adjust my sails accordingly.
Find your genuine merry, mamas.
Here’s some ways to find your merry, but in a really genuine way, not faking your feelings.
- Play the carols, softly. When you’re not in the mood for crazy Christmas music, just listen to the calm quiet kind. We’ve been streaming an instrumental Christmas Pandora station for a week now and it’s been lovely.
- Journal it out. I find that writing about what I am feeling helps me so much. Just a little time each morning, usually paired with Simple Abundance, one of my all-time favorite daily reading books.
- Count your joy list. Every. Single. Thing. Thankful people are joyful people. When I journal each day I make sure I’m writing down a list of things–even the smallest things–that I’m thankful for. It creates joy. It really does.
- Clear–and I mean clear–the calendar. Take off all the things you don’t absolutely have to do. You can reschedule. You can miss things. It’s ok. Really. And slower days with tea and books are probably what you need right now.
- Watch your kids. Look at their eyes. Their joy is contagious. The other night we watched a Christmas movie and I mostly just watched my kids watch the movie. Their faces were priceless. They were so perfectly contented and joyful. I want to look into their happy little eyes more and more this season.
If you’re not feeling merry this year, I feel you. I get it. This year might look different but that doesn’t mean it has to be bad. Different can be amazing.
Need some more tips and reminders? I have a printable for you–a tired mama’s Christmas tip sheet AND a page of printable reminder cards you can put on your mirror and tape above your kitchen sink. Get it here: