Holidays, Life, Movies

Christmas crazies and Bad Moms

This is definitely the “busy season” for many people, especially moms. You hear a lot about it….every year is the same. Everyone is stressed and harried and HAVING FUN and MAKING MEMORIES, people! 🙂

I’m guilty, too. I’m busy. I have a long to do list. It feels overwhelming. Some things are “want to dos”, for sure. (It is not a life requirement to bake Christmas cookies, for example. A fun and nice tradition, YES! But not required to continue living. 😉 Also, it’s definitely not required to print a card with the same pictures your friends and family probably already saw on Facebook, and then mail it to them. But I still like making them! Mostly because I like to keep my own card. hehe.)

I am also guilty of very much blurring the lines between the “want to do” category and the “must do” category.

I feel a general sense of responsibility for maintaining all the holiday traditions at our house. Because, honestly, Ivan would NOT do like 99% of the stuff I do around Christmastime (or any holiday). It’s just not something he really cares about at all. If we didn’t put up a single Christmas decoration, I don’t think he would even notice, much less care.

We have actually had conversations about this. “If I ever die while the kids are still young and home, please promise me that you will still decorate for Christmas and do all the Christmas traditions they are used to!!” His response is usually along the lines of, “How about don’t die and you keep doing it.” Hahaha.

I saw this podcast episode mentioned yesterday and listened to it, and I LOVED the point that choosing to not do something one year doesn’t mean you can never do it again or that you are abolishing that tradition. What a freeing thought.

Example- maybe I usually try to give very special/ personalized gifts, but this year we have had a garage and bedroom remodel going on. So, maybe this one year I just give myself the grace to say, “GIFT CARDS!” or whatever. Doesn’t mean that I am a forever “gift card giver” if I do it one year. Or even two! We can pick and choose what we do based on the current circumstances of our lives.

Bad Moms Christmas

This whole topic always makes me think of the movie Bad Moms Christmas, which is fricking hilarious. I re-watched it last Christmas while wrapping gifts.

One of my favorite scenes is when the moms are talking about how stressful the holidays are, and Kiki (Kristen Bell) says:

Sometimes, when I’m driving by myself, I have this fantasy that I get into a car crash. Not a big one, with fire and explosions, but just like a little one….but I DO get injured and I get to go to the hospital for two weeks, and I sleep all day and I eat Jell-o and I watch so much TV, and it’s all covered by my insurance! My kids bring me balloons, and the nurses rub cream on my feet, and oh, my God, it’s so amazing. Is that, like, something you guys fantasize about, too?”

HAHAHA! This just cracks me up. I can’t say I’ve ever actually wanted to go to the hospital, but I sometimes feel like I might like to get just a little bit sick. Like the type of illness where you aren’t “really” sick, but you feel just under the weather enough that you get to lounge in bed and watch movies and everyone sort of feels sorry for you and leaves you alone for a day or two. 🙂

Watch the video clip!! So funny!

Official Bad Moms ‘Mom Fantasies’ Film Clip – Out Now on Blu-Ray and DVD – YouTube

Daily Gratitude:

I am grateful for how wonderful and plush our new bedroom carpet feels under my bare feet when I get up in the morning.

8 thoughts on “Christmas crazies and Bad Moms”

  1. Oh man I can relate. I *feel* like this is getting better for me as the kids get older and I get older and start to realize what I really want out of the holidays. To feel cozy. To show people I love how much I love them (and sometimes that means giving gifts, or writing a letter or watching a movie on the couch – but I have to remember WHY I’m doing these things and then cut out the rest).

    Most of my things are “wants” and I’m trying to dig into the “why” of it to see if it deserves mental space in my life. I’m trying to let go of FOMO – for example, we never decorate gingerbread men or make gingerbread houses. I don’t buy the kids fancy Christmas clothes. We don’t host any fancy dinner parties. Other people do and sometimes I get these urges to “compete with the Jones'” so to speak, but I’m trying hard to resist and be content with what I’ve identified as priorities in my life.

    I’ve spent A LOT of time this year thinking about values and I think it’s so helpful in the midst of holiday stress. What do I value? An Instagram-worthy tree, or having fun decorating with my kids. Honestly, I think you can get both, just redefine what “Instragram-worthy” is…

    One really crazy thing about holiday cards (and I likely need a therapy session dedicated to this) – my wedding dress (which got altered when I was out of town) ended up NOT fitting properly on my wedding day. I was so uncomfortable and look so uncomfortable in all the pictures. It was devastating! I’ve been haunted by that ever since, and I take comfort in having annual photos where I feel like I have more control over the outcome.

    I have never seen the Bad Moms movie but I have talked SO many times with girlfriends about this fantasy. It always involves being laid up in the hospital, too. Not home where I know I’d get thrown back into the fray. But then I remember being in the hospital with my newborns and all the buzzing and noises and smells…it actually wasn’t that relaxing, I guess.

    This year I feel better than normal about Christmas. I am really trimming things. I’ve changed how we organize food -making it simpler, delegating where I can, spreading it out over more days instead of cramming all the heavy, labor-intensive cooking into this narrow time window. I’ve made shopping WAY easier this year. Holiday pictures and cards took almost no time (we get a friend to take the photos) and I actually really enjoy this process. But if I didn’t, I wouldn’t do it (I’m the ONLY one in my family, aside from my Mom, who sends Christmas cards. NONE of my siblings ever do).

    Re. husbands: My husband is the same in some ways (he would do almost NONE of the things I do for Christmas), but I will say this – he does REALLY appreciate what I do for Christmas. He likes the tree and the ornaments and the Christmas cards and the baked goods the kids and I give to the neighbours and the holiday candles. It’s my thing and that’s okay, but I know I would feel very resentful if he didn’t at least appreciate the effort. So gold stars to him for noticing and enjoying it (and usually willingly participating if I ask him).

    A friend and I were just talking about something similar the other day. He husband has a prominent position and she was talking about how she makes baked things for his work colleagues, invites people over for meals etc. – this isn’t something he would do without her and it’s not something he ASKS her to do, but she feels like she needs to/wants to…and she also recognized how she doesn’t think her realizes how much these things help support his likeability within the department he runs.

    Okay – this was a long comment. So much to say on this topic and I’ve started drafting some Christmas blog posts!

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    1. I feel honored to receive such a long, thoughtful comment!! 🙂

      I’m glad to hear that you feel like you have a good handle on it this year! I’m sure it does help to be mindful/thoughtful about it all, versus just racing through it all. You have some very smart approaches. I feel similarly in that I’m trying spread things out and especially, I’m trying to look ahead and “pencil in” when certain things will happen (instead of just waiting for time to magically appear to decorate the house, for example).

      Gingerbread men/houses is also something we have never done. Our old neighbors used to have a tradition where they would invite the boys over for a “gingerbread decorating” evening, so it was perfect! They got to do it and I did not, 🙂 But now those neighbors moved, sadly.

      After I hit publish on this post, I realized that I did leave out one little piece about my husband and Christmas. I think he does really appreciate and enjoy the tree, in particular! He tends to spend more time than I do in the living room, often after I go to bed, and I think he really does enjoy sitting by the fireplace with the tree on in the evenings. Or during a family movie night, etc. I also know that he does appreciate the fact that I DO do all of this stuff, because even though it isn’t something that he personally feels interested in, he does realize how much the boys love it. So he has told me before how nice it is that I do all of these things, for the family/ boys. He also loves the Christmas cookies. 😉 and, he generally cheerfully tolerates me playing Christmas music all the time for almost 2 months with zero complaints, so that is nice, too. haha!

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  2. This post should be submitted to Gretchen Rubin’s feed and entitled “Musings of an Upholder Christmas” 😉 I’ll be focusing on raking leaves, if the weather ever gets better.

    One day at a time, and fit some relaxing in! “Bad Moms” sounds like a good start. Although my insurance is so bad it would never pay for that stay.

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  3. I’m officially bad mom! I don’t put up a tree here in Manila (it was bad decision to store it in the US when we left), I don’t do thanksgiving dinner often (another US tradition that doesn’t feel right to do in manila). this year, I’m finding the exit way by taking the family on a trip during Christmas. the girls are happy because we are going with the family we like to travel with, but that saves me a lot of planning for the holidays. Yet, I plan to do the gifts thing as surprise for them, maybe revealing to them that it has been me after all. they questioned it so many times since last year as they saw the gifts in the kitchen the night before…. I am still denying but I think I’m ready to reveal soon. 🙂

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  4. also, I fully agree that not doing something one year doesn’t mean you’ll never do, it might also be that as a family you don’t miss it much and appreciate those that you do more. sometimes we act with inertia, not really what we do want. it’s better to do what we truly want that fit to our mindset and family situation/priority, than just do them because we’ve always done them.

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  5. I ordered Christmas cards this weekend! And now realized that I did not order an extra for us to keep. Whoops. I spent the extra $0.10/card to have them addressed by shutterfly. That adds up to $10+ extra dollar but I told myself it was worth the time. I usually print labels but since I’m not in the office, I don’t have access to a printer so Phil would have had to do it and I decided to just make it easier on all of us and get Shutterfly to print them. But Phil did comment about the expense of cards (they are expensive!) and how they aren’t really necessary but I said I absolutely LOVE getting cards and we hang them on our wall so they get appreciated by Pablo and me so it’s worth the expense. He wasn’t arguing that I stop doing them, though. he just hates the expense of course.

    I’m at a different stage of life than you so the holidays are not as stressful for me. I will probably feel different when there are church and school programs etc. Phil and I are not gift people and our kids get so much from his mom since they are her only grandkids so we only get 1-2 gifts/kid plus some stocking stuffers. And I will probably not get anything besides stocking stuffer items for Will this year… because he has no idea what Christmas is and won’t remember… We did the same thing when Paul was small and just got him 1 thing + books. But it will be harder when the kids are older and ask for lots of things. And as tends to be the case, it always falls on the mom! We care so much about making things special and pretty so while we do create some of the stress by our expectations, it doesnt feel possible to opt out of it all. But I do like the lazy genius suggestion of letting 1 things slide.

    I do feel it helps to be married to a totally frugal and extremely pragmatic person. It caps the extra stuff we take on? I can see Ivan being similar! Like we will go look at lights in our neighborhood as a family but Phil vetos going to a light show/exhibit with a timed entrance for example. I tried talking him into going to one last year and he was a hard pass (but I did hear from others that it maybe wasn’t worth the entrance fee?). But it also helps that our kids are impressed by the smallest things. Like when we did go look at lights last year, Paul liked it but what he liked the most was seeing the inflated dinosaur with a santa on it’s back that a house in our neighborhood puts up every year. Phil pulled over so he could sit and admire it and when I asked what his favorite house we saw was, it was the dino (not the houses w/ fancy lights timed to music!). But that will change when our kids are older and not wowed by an inflated dinosaur! Ha!

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