While I might be biased, I think moms are kinda the best thing in the world. Seriously, we rock. We cook, clean, make sure everyone is happy (oh, the laughable, impossible task!), and try so darn hard at pretty much everything all day long so that our family might find pleasure in their lives. This is true on a Tuesday in the middle of July, true on a Thursday evening in March, and perhaps truest in the month of December.
December is a mom’s time to shine—and use every ounce of energy she never knew she had. In fact, there ought to be a manual handed out at the hospital to get you through the holiday season. “Here is your baby, and here is your 498-page book on how to get through the holidays alive. We don’t have a clue how to get that baby to stop crying, but we can show you how to style the family for the perfect family photo shoot.” Oh wait, perhaps that is the purpose of Pinterest?
So the December mom is in her best (or worst) form simply because she has to be. Of course, I’m grossly generalizing for fun here, but hang with me for a minute. How many families do you know that would actually send out holiday cards with smiling family members on it without Mom? My husband is absolutely phenomenal, but I can pinky swear that none of you would be receiving a Christmas card without me. Not an ounce of him cares about our matching outfits. He wears them and supports me and smiles for the photo, but you would never get Christmas love from the Rosses if it were up to him. But us moms, we take over and produce holiday cheer like it’s going out of style.
How about gift buying? ‘Tis the season to buy every single gift for every single family member all by ourselves. I know who buys the gifts under your tree. You know who buys the gifts under your tree. After all, you oughta know exactly what your husband’s great aunt wants for Christmas anyway, amiright? And yet, without a second thought, we write the gift tags each year, “Love, The ENTIRE Family.”
TRUTH: My family is just as surprised as the gift recipient by what he/she opens.
So why don’t we just write, “Love, THE MOM”? Because we know better. That’s totally in violation of the gift-giving rule clearly stated on page 112 of the holiday mom manual. Honestly, would there even be cute gift tags to write on if we didn’t buy them? That’s an easy no. The December mom is in charge of the wrapping paper, gift tags, knowing which gifts have been purchased, where to get the best deal on that stupid Hatchimal that I was hoping wouldn’t be back for a second round this year, and of course, the perfect hiding place of the Santa gifts. In fact, some of us are so good at the latter that we find some when we’re hiding Easter gifts the next year. (Cough, cough.)
And then there is the cooking and hosting. The cookie decorating, the Christmas parties, the volunteer work—the list goes on. The December mom does it all and then, as it’s happening, wonders why she’s doing it all. It’s absolutely exhausting to make holiday cheer. Have you ever decorated a dozen sugar cookies with a three-year-old? Holiday fun or the reason Mama drinks wine? It’s a true tossup. So we rush to schedule the hayrides, Santa visits, and holiday crafts because experiencing it ALL is the goal. ALL THE THINGS FOR ALL THE PEOPLE.
So when does December mom get to enjoy the holiday season? Oh, in early October/November, when all of this is being planned. Yep, the excitement oozes out of her then. The planning, scheming, organizing. This year will be the best. This year the kids won’t fight. They will be grateful, and they won’t even get bored during winter break because of the millions of crafts we will do while sipping hot apple cider and nibbling perfectly decorated cookies. Every. Single. Year.
But then, December mom, I know what happens. At some point between the 28th gift purchased and the 460th play of “All I Want for Christmas is You,” you get tired. We all do. We plan. We go. We keep everyone sane. We experience. We tell our kids to be grateful. We laugh. We sing. We document all of it via Instagram. And then by the time Christmas actually rolls around, we’re absolutely pooped.
So, December mom, I have a plan. This year, we’re going to stop and smell the eggnog. Don’t just pour it for others; sit down and pour it for yourself. Find a tradition of your own. For some of us, it might be wrapping gifts by the light of the tree with a glass of wine after the rest of our people have gone to bed. Maybe it’s a pedicure on Christmas Eve. Perhaps it’s a trip to visit Santa with your besties and a reasonably priced $49 picture to remember the moment. Do something fun that doesn’t involve doing for others (e.g., your kids)—something that captures your holiday cheer and lets you enjoy the moments you provide for everyone else. Ice that cookie and then promptly eat it all up—otherwise, your kids will, and everyone knows they don’t need any more sugar. Smile, take a deep breath, and put on your December mom cape. Let’s do this! The holidays are here!