Llama Llama Holiday Drama!

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I need to have a moment of honesty here…I’m in a funk.  Who is with me?!  I hope you are not, but I also hope you are because then I wouldn’t feel like such a schlub.  I’ve been struggling for awhile now, not really feeling like myself.  I feel like I’m living this Reader’s Digest version of my life because I don’t have the energy to do anything else.  I’m not sure why…whether or not it’s due to the colder weather or what…but I’m just kind of stuck.

The holidays overwhelm me.  Don’t they?  It’s massive information overload, and you are faced with about a billion decisions.  What to buy for the kids?  How to decorate the house?  How many people to send Christmas cards to?  What foods to make?  What gifts to give the neighbors?  And teachers?  How to do my Christmas lights outside?  What activities to do with the family?  the kids?  Baaaahh!!  It’s too much for me.

Christmas stress

I wish the holidays could be more simple.  I hate competing with all my blogger friends because everyone seems to be trying to put out their best content during this time.  The result is that I shrink into myself and my brain shuts down.  I just. can’t. compete.  There are too many great ideas, yummy recipes, adorable decorations, and whose to say mine are interesting enough to share?  It’s not just sharing…it’s more like it must be a grand reveal.  I feel the pressure to be amazing and original.  But Christmas is a very traditional time for me and I tend to crave simplicity these days.

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It’s ironic because I’ve always been one to jump on the early Christmas bandwagon.  Last year I had my Christmas tree up TWO WEEKS before Halloween.  I know–that was ridiculous.  I told myself it’s because I’m a blogger and we have to do everything a little early.  But then I was ready to take it all down two weeks before Christmas.  This year my tree still isn’t up yet and I think it might be the latest I have ever waited.

How can I simplify my holiday season?  How do you avoid getting overwhelmed and burned out?  What do you do to have an enjoyable holiday season, complete with homemade gifts and goodies?  Is that even possible?  Oi.

P.S. This children’s book is really cute.

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21 Comments

  1. For me less is more. I don’t feel the need to compete because I want things how I like them, not how others might like then. We’ve cut back a lot on gifiting in recent years so it’s pretty much children only who get gifts, and our parents. Teachers and the like will get something homemade. Christmas cards are sent to family and close friends only. If you’re craving simplicity then go for it, and blog about it. Let that be your big reveal. It doesn’t have to be all glitter and sparkles to be wonderful.

    1. Heidi @ Honeybear Lane says:

      Thanks Paula, I will try!

  2. Heidi, I know it’s hared to say, scale back and enjoy, but it is true as much as it can be true!!! I have spent the past couple of weekends sitting in my bed during the weekend with my 18 year old daughter watching Christmas movies on Hallmark!!!! Oh, there is so much that I should be doing, but guess what, it is still there waiting. The down time spent with my daughter has been so great, that I feel it has given me a renewed sense!!! Now, here is my coping mechanism, and trust me when I tell you that it has taken me a long to time to semi accept these attitudes…..Christmas cards, maybe or may be not. Love them, love getting them, but sometimes I just run out of time and really, getting an 18 year old and a 20 year old to sit still for a pic…..So, last year no cards went out! The decorations, well last year we got the tree up and lights on when my son made it home from college for a weekend before his break, guess what, our tree never had any ornaments put on it. We loved the tree and it’s beauty just with lights. Gifts for everyone, always a favorite of mine until about 6/7 years ago. CAN NOT handle the stress of it anymore. My daughter does the majority of the shopping and wrapping for me now. Sometimes we go together, but I only do the fun stuff!!!! Crafts……always want to do, but then stress over the time frame again…….So, I try, sometimes I try with my kids, so that I will do them. So, if you have little kids, it is harder to figure this all out, but remember more than anything, it should be about family, so anything that you decide to do, or not do, should be based on that! I know you are a busy mom and have all of these other pressing things, but it is important for us moms to take a minute a breathe! I am starting to feel the stress of the holidays a little, so I think I need to up the Christmas movies!!!!!! Happy Holidays to you and your family! (P.S., my daughter was born on December 29th, so guess what, I felt it necessary to NEVER and I mean NEVER give a combined gift, I felt it necessary to take down all Christmas decorations before her birthday and of course, always had a party and I mean a party for her!!!!)(Why do moms feel so much guilt?)

    1. Heidi @ Honeybear Lane says:

      I love those Hallmark movies! I only discovered them two years ago when I had my Thanksgiving baby and spent practically the entire month on the rocking chair breastfeeding and watching holiday movies.

  3. Why in the world do you care what other bloggers are doing? The average person buys their tree 10-15 days before Christmas. So you have plenty of time. I will never understand those who do a different tree EVERY YEAR. That’s exhausting. For my family the Christmas tree is a story of who we are. The ornaments have special meaning of our travels and likes. It’s the same every year with exception to that one new ornament we buy.

    And as far as children gift giving goes. Buy them 4 gifts, one they want, one they need, one they wear and one they can read. I think this time of year can be simplified when everyone does what they want vs. what the Joneses are doing. Do you and the rest will just come.

    1. Heidi @ Honeybear Lane says:

      I don’t want to care what other bloggers are doing but it comes with the territory. I’m not yet evolved enough to put myself above it all, but I’m working on it!

  4. I haven’t enjoyed Christmas for a long time–there are just too many expectations and expenses with that holiday. I have tried to simplify over the years but I continue to look for ways to do more. This year I’m going to read “Unplugging the Christmas Machine” as soon as it arrives in the mail. I’m going to try to give exactly one present to each of my children. Their stockings are going to have useful stuff in them like shampoo and toothpaste and deodorant and possibly a book to keep them busy on Christmas. We do all the decorations on the first Monday night of December. It takes an hour and we have a fake Christmas tree so we don’t have to go buy the tree. I may buy another string of lights to go on the tree but other than that, I’ll use what we have. We do gingerbread houses on the third Monday night of December and we use graham crackers. I may or may not do neighbor gifts–maybe some little loaves of bread but I didn’t do them at all last year and I didn’t feel too guilty. I give Kleenex boxes to the teachers, maybe hand sanitizer with a ribbon wrapped around them–they really like getting them. I like doing Christmas cards so I will pick a number to send and stick to that. I would like to simplify my gifts to my relatives more but I’m still figuring that out. My vote is to do what it takes to enjoy this time of year and figure out what needs to go and what you like enough to keep. Hopefully I will reach the point where I enjoy Christmas more.

    1. Heidi @ Honeybear Lane says:

      I like the hand sanitizer gift idea…

  5. I can totally relate and feel like this whenever the big holidays roll in. Craft blogging puts A LOT of unnecessary pressure on what it already a pressure filled time for moms. I need to take my own advice here, but ignore it all and do what you want to do, not what you feel like you are supposed to do according to all the stores, blogs & other people. Got something you truly wanted to do for the holidays to make yourself happy and want to share it? Great. But don’t feel like you’ve got to make a bunch of things or they that they have to be beyond amazing and never-thought-of-before. And trying to force creativity rarely works. It’s sort of pointless to go overboard at these times because it’ll only get lost in the throng of other stuff out there anyway. There’s nothing worse than putting in loads of effort & time and it goes unnoticed because everyone’s too busy or there’s too much else competing for attention!

    Keeping up with the insane blog season schedule of posting crazy early, maximizing holiday activities & being the perfect handmade gifter just leaves me tired, stressed and zaps all the enjoyment out of what should be a happy, spend with your family time. I do wish that more people slowed down so it didn’t seem like the constant faux perfection was “normal”, because it really isn’t. I’m massively cutting back on doing handmade gifts, choosing only a few holiday-themed activities to do with the kids and just a couple of holiday themed posts and then taking a break to really enjoy what the season is really about.

    1. Heidi @ Honeybear Lane says:

      It’s funny because I think this blog post is really only truly understood by other craft bloggers. It’s just hard to know the kinds of pressures we put on ourselves that cause us to self combust. Everyone has holiday stress but it’s especially bad for us. Thanks for commiserating!

  6. Ashley C. says:

    Don’t feel the need to compete! You have fabulous style and whatever you create will (hopefully) be what you and your family love, so that’s what matters! As for simplifying, do that! Don’t feel pressure to do all these activities with your kids. If they enjoy a particular thing, help make that happen, but don’t feel pressure to do all these things that others are doing. And really, what is this holiday all about? Celebrating Christ’s birth, one of the most simple and humble occasions ever to happen. The world needs more simplicity and less commercialism. Just try and find joy in the beauty of the season. And if all else fails, go serve someone. I know that always helps me get in more of a Christmas mood. Although I do not know you personally, you seem like a wonderful, thoughtful, beautiful lady! I hope you feel more excited about the season! Afterall, it’s the most wonderful time of the year 😉

    1. Heidi @ Honeybear Lane says:

      Such a good point…I am guilty of forgetting the true reason for the season. Thanks!

  7. Lets go grab lunch or go to a movie, maybe you just need so girl time!!!

  8. I lost my husband last February so Christmas is not high on my radar. I would like to have the energy and enthusiasm to do something. Please give thanks that you have families with whom you can celebrate.

  9. Hi Heidi,
    You can only do what you can do is what my Mom always tells me. We live similar lives and the truth is that you cannot compete with everyone else. At the end of the holiday, you will want to know that you enjoyed the kind of season that meant something valuable to *you* and so the most critical thing you could do at this point is decide how *you and your family* would like to celebrate and not worry about the other “virtual Joneses”. They may have their homes mocked up to reflect each day of their Advent calendar, but it doesn’t mean your sugar cookies, family and quality time spent together are any less as perfect.
    You do a great job! Make your dream holiday and list and stick with only that!
    Robin 🙂

  10. I stopped sending Christmas cards years ago. So refreshing. I always wrote letters to catch everyone up on our lives and got so frustrated when I received a card back, with just a signature. Focus on your kids, cut out neighbor gifts. It’s just too much pressure on yourself. Let the kids help decorate. Do less, enjoy more. Set a price limit on you kid’s gifts and have them give you a list. I tell my grandkids what their price limit is and we talk about their list and the cost. Love your blog just the way it is!!

  11. Judy Wilmot says:

    I know how you feel and I don’t even have a blog! I’m going to try to simplify things this Christmas. It’s just too stressful to try and keep up with other people. Spending time with family is more important! Keep the food simple also. I’m not making all kinds of cookies…just two or three that the family especially likes and that is it! With the economy the way it is, people don’t have the money to go all out!
    Have a wonderful holiday season! 2014 is another year and I will be looking forward to your blog!

  12. Before December 1st, sit down and make a list of things that are a real priority to you this year and limit that number to 10. then put your efforts into making those 10 things very special this year and tell yourself that other things can wait to be put on the list next year! Doing a few things excellently is much better than trying to lots of things poorly. I also suggest that you make the birth of Christ the center of your plans and do those things that help you focus on the ‘reason for the season”. I also suggest that if you have children….go to your local library and check out Children’s Christmas books and read one a day to your child . There are many to choose from and it will help all of you put meaning and fun into your Christmas celebration. And always remember that you only have one chance to celebrate this Christmas…..make it count…for you. and your family…not someone else.

  13. I have had this steady decline for enjoying Christmas ever since I got married. It was a little stressful when I was younger, trying to finish up schoolwork and shop for gifts and attend events, etc. But wow, I had no idea. NONE! Of how much work Christmas really is, with goodies and relatives and gifts and neighbors and decorating and gifts and kids and meals and cards and pictures and gifts and wrapping and packaging and sending and gifts and parties and crafts. And really, it is too much. So I am trying. Trying! to find the things that are really the most important to me and to my family and sticking with those. Of course it will still be too much, but hopefully not as bad.

    What things are fun for you? What kinds of posts have your readers asked for more of? I think that sometimes people are inundated with cute and crafts and sugar this time of year… so perhaps it might be nice to do funny or fun reading posts. I mean like writing about Christmases past, or your 10 ten fav (or least fav) Christmas songs. I love it when you ask your readers about their favorite traditions or what was the funniest gift they ever received or what new thing they tried at Thanksgiving. Or even if you don’t ask your readers and you just write about it. Sometimes that is a fun escape from the usual and that’s what I won’t skip or gloss over because it’s a break from the own Christmas craziness at my house that I have plenty of. And so yeah, that’s what I’m requesting to see. But no pressure.

  14. I love the lights and sparkle of Christmas, but most of all I look forward to the new and old Christmas movies every year. They remind me to be grateful and loving, also to marvel at all the good that surrounds us. I think we get caught up in the commercials rather than the reason for Christmas Do what makes you happy and enjoy. Smile…

  15. Leslie Wallace says:

    Ho Ho Heidi! Just have a fun time with your kids and enjoy the season. If you get time, you can post pics on your blog. I’m sure there are a bunch of moms in your same boat thinking it’s just them. I too, love the Hallmark movies. Got some garlands with lights up and will get to the rest maybe :). Get the teachers some bubble bath or body scrub….they probably need one! Crock pot your dinner. Have a soup, hot chocolate and blankets in the den with holiday movies with the kids. If you fall asleep and take a nap…good for you! Give family gifts….puzzles, fruit, popcorn and a movie (Polar Express?), a family craft project….make it simple and enjoy these times with tons of memories to treasure. Don’t worry about the cards….you are driving this train, make it up as you go. You are a joy, Heidi! Hugs!

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