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Letter to Self Before the Holidays: Presence not Presents


Dear Pre-Holiday Mama,

You have now entered the time of the most wonderful time of the year. * cue all of your favorite holiday memories* Now, let’s take a step back into reality and comprehend that though this typically the most “wonderful time of the year” it’s also the most stressful. As moms, we’re are always running around during this time of year scrounging enough money, time and sanity to get through these last months of the year. Why the hell would we put ourselves through all this stress? We should be as happy as our kids are during this time of year.  I say this year let’s do holidays different! Are you with me? I’ve got some pointers to get all of us moms through the holidays.

  1. Have a game plan

Plan for your expectations for your long drives, plane rides and or gifts and decorating. Step up your Mom Game and plan ahead so that you can be ahead of the game. It’s less stress if you already have a plan.

2. Do not whine, just wine.

You know that there are some things you will not be able to change, that comes with life in general. So, live a little and drink a little. Let loose so that you’re able to have this season.

3. Semi-homemade is still homemade.

If you’re anything like me, I want to make the best holiday treats and meals but will it kill you to get a little help from store bought cake mix once in a while? No one will know the difference, I promise.

4. You can have another piece of pie.

Ditch the diet for a bit. I know that we’re always trying to watch what we eat during the year, but splurge a little. Have a little pie with a little extra whipped cream with your loved ones.

5. Work smarter not harder

Ask for help from the family when it comes to clean up or set up. Don’t take sole responsibility for everything getting done.  You have help around you so ask for it! You can take short cuts so that you are less stressed at the end of the day.

6. Ditch the high stress.

We know that there are some things we cannot change, so don’t over think them. I know it’s easier said than done, but let go of all the stress that is causing you to hold back this holiday season. If you don’t want to spend all this money on a gift you know your kid won’t play within a week; don’t buy it. If you don’t want to deal with the bake sale at your kid’s school for the holidays; buy some Costco cookies. You get the picture, if not reference #5.

7. Your family will leave as soon as the holiday season is over.

Most of us are blessed with big beautiful families, but it also comes with a price at times. Families cause stress in our lives especially over such big events. Let it go. You already know what to brace yourself for . Expect the best and if that doesn’t work for you know that the holidays isn’t forever and they will leave soon enough.

8. Go for presence not presents.

If there is anything I want us moms to take away with us this holiday season especially is that the gift of presence is so much more valuable than presents. Reevaluate your gift lists and to do lists this year (and every year after) to fit in presence. No one really cares (nor will they remember) how much you spent on a gift. You shouldn’t care either! You should prioritize the gift of time and the fact that, that in itself is so much more valuable than anything on a stupid gift list. Spend time with your family and enjoy the little things around this holiday season that make it so special for us year after year. Presence is what your kids and the rest of your family will remember for years to come.

Now let’s recap; remember that this holiday season is about presence and not presents. We need to finally enjoy the holiday season that we plan and over think the entire year because it goes unbelievably fast. We need to slow down and smell the eggnog or pumpkin pie long enough to live and enjoy a little. Let loose this holiday season and understand that everything will be okay. We will get through this holiday season together. You will survive! Get your game face on Moms!


Yours truly,

The Jovial Post Holiday Mama



About Jannine Wells

Jannine Wells
Jannine Wells is a Navy brat traveling the world and moving every 4 years until finally settling in Nevada. She was raised in Fernley Nevada and moved to Reno in 2010 to finish her degree at TMCC. She has a background in childhood education and is an advocate for children’s education and development. Jannine is married to her high school sweetheart and is raising a beautiful one year old daughter, Haidyn, and kitty daughter, Sassafras. She is a paper pusher by day, blogger and amateur chef by night passionate about learning how to become a better mother.  Jannine started her blog Sunny In Reno to write about her pregnancy and journey through motherhood.   View all posts by Jannine.

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