Every Christmas season I work myself up into a panic. As a busy caregiver and a mom, Christmas just feels like a lot of work. I’m determined to not stress out this holiday. Maybe I’ll even enjoy myself.

Here are the promises I’m making to myself this Christmas:

baking christmas cookies

This is not my life. And that’s okay.

I am not going to make Pinterest perfect Christmas cookies

I’m not even going to try. We might bake cookies that look like lumps of coal. That’s just fine. Maybe I’ll even just buy cookies this year. And I’ll eat too many of them.

writing, addressing, and mailing christmas cards

I am not going to send out Christmas cards

We all love getting Christmas cards, but it’s okay to not have time this year. I’m not going to feel guilty about it. A Facebook post or an email is just fine. And it’s totally fine that the kids are not going to sit still for a photo. It adds character.

dinner on fire

I am not going to make Christmas dinner from scratch

It’s just not worth the time and effort. Stuffing out of a box is still delicious. The important thing is to spend time with my family and enjoy myself.

the perfect holiday gift

I am not going to get the perfect gift

I’m not going to wait in lines. I’m not going to obsess about it. I’m going to get presents, sure, but that’s not going to be the main way I show my love and appreciation for the people in my life.

never ending to do list

I am not going to complete my to-do list

Ever. And that’s okay. I’m going to work on not putting things on there unless they really need to be done.

women toasting with champagne at a holiday party

I am not going to go to everyone’s Christmas party

Actually, I never go to everyone’s Christmas parties. The real promise is that I’m not going to feel bad about not going. I have my priorities and they’re just fine. If there are some hurt feelings, people will need to understand that spending quality time with me can’t be lumped into a group event.

hello 2017

I am not going to regret what I didn’t do in 2016

I’ve done the best I can. I’m pretty impressed with myself. I’m going to leave it at that.

Cynthia Blackford

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