Maude Michaud | La parfaite maman cinglante
The holidays are coming, and if you don’t want to remortgage your house or return to work more exhausted than you are now, here are five tips for skating through them like a pro!
#1 Go easy on the gifts for the kids
I know it’s hard to resist—you want to spoil your kids, and that desire is only quintupled during the holidays, thanks to the Christmas music playing all around you and the sales that just make you want to spend, spend, spend. But, do me a favour and step back and take a deep breath. You’re always talking about how your house is buried in toys and useless knick-knacks. Is it really necessary to add to the pile this year? More family time and less junk seems like a pretty good recipe for fun, saving your wallet and teaching your kids that Christmas is more than a commercial holiday that forces you to blow all your hard-earned money.
#2 Don’t buy useless things for your family just for the sake of getting them something
You’re wondering what to get your mother, because she already seems to have everything she needs. You’re at a loss for ideas for your husband, because after 10 years of buying him saws and hammers his toolbox is bursting at the hinges. And you’re desperately mining for a hostess gift for your aunt who will be having you, your kids and your man over on New Year’s. What if you didn’t get anything for any of them? Tell me, what is the point of buying stuff that no one wants just because of some custom that dictates we have to give people gifts on December 25? Enjoy a good meal as a family instead.
#3 Learn to say no
Your mother-in-law wants you to come for dinner on the 25th and the 28th. Your own mother wants to see you on the 26th and the 30th. Your friends are planning a dinner the 27th, your grandmother has asked you to come see her the 29th… None of them sound tempting and you’re completely overwhelmed? Call me cruel, but there comes a point when you have to woman-up and learn to say no. In life, people will keep asking of you as long as you keep giving. You have to learn to set boundaries—and stay home with your family on the 26th, if that’s what you feel like doing!
#4 Never underestimate the value of ready-to-serve dishes
True, the ready-to-serve dishes sold in grocery stores don’t come cheap. But your time is valuable too. So, before you automatically assume that it’s much less costly to make everything from scratch for the 15 guests you’ll be hosting on Christmas Eve, stop for a moment and think about it. Every year, you tell yourself that you’re going to do things simple, and every year you end up slaving over a hot stove for three days and running around like a chicken with its head cut off. This year, save yourself at least one day of sweating it out, and buy your meat pies at the grocery store.
#5 Don’t pack your calendar with activities
You often complain that you and your kids don’t have two minutes to breathe during the holidays. In reality, however, other than the three or four dinners you have to attend, it’s you who fills up your calendar, trying to outdo everyone with educational activities, afternoons tobogganing, and evenings at the movie theatre. Relax. Reserve yourself two or three days to do diddly squat.
And on that happy note, have a wonderful holiday!
Photo credits for the cover image: Freepik