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Turning My “Bah Humbug” into an “Okay, Let’s Do This Thing!”

66753_10151336497277094_485473406_nNow that the holiday season is over, I feel like I can finally breathe again. I hate Christmas. For me, it’s just one big, stressful, expensive obligation, and if I never “celebrated” another one, I would be THRILLED.

Unfortunately, I have friends and family and children who enjoy Jesus’ birthday, and my wish for a Christmas-free life will never be granted. In the spirit of being proactive, I give you a list of things I will do differently next year (this is, by the way, the same list I made for myself last year).

1. I will start earlier.

I will start earlier I will start earlier I will start EARLIER. Given my current habit of starting Christmas Eve, that shouldn’t be too hard to do.

2. I will not go crazy buying gifts for my kids.

Butterbean and Sprout got a MILLION gifts this year, and a week after the holidays, I doubt either kid could tell you what she got for Christmas. The toys are now skattered, forgotten, throughout my house, or rotting away in Toy Jail.

Next year, I’m sticking with the often pinned “something they want, something they need, something to wear, something to read” 4 gift rule.

Not only will my kids enjoy their gifts more, but I will not be filled with a sense of dread Christmas morning as I survey the mess and the sheer mass of my kids possessions and think “Where am I going to put all this stuff?!”

3. I will move our Elf on the Shelf from the shelf.

In the sea of hatred that fills my heart when it comes to Christmas, I have a small island of, if not love, at least tolerance for, Elf on the Shelf. It’s such a good idea! Butterbean loves our elf, Eleanor Hoodwink, and I enjoy lying to innocent children who will later be crushed when they find out that magic isn’t real.

As much as I love Eleanor, we forget for days at a time to move her around, and even then we are super lame; Ellie might move from the top of our TV to the top of the Christmas Tree, for example. She rarely does anything more exciting than that.

Next year, I vow to at least make her drink a cup of hot chocolate or something.

4. I will do a Book Advent.

I have always wanted to do a “book advent calendar” and this year I actually bought some holiday books! Granted, those books sat in the Indigo bag on my youngest’s dresser for weeks before Butterbean pulled them down 3 days before Christmas, but at least I took a step toward starting the tradition…

I’m wrapping the books up before I store them with the Christmas tree (yeah, my Christmas tree is still up — Am I the only one?!), and next year, we’re going to do it up right. Or, at least we’re going to half-ass our way through with the handful of books I have at my disposal.

5. I will buy matching PJs.

Another tradition I have always wanted to start, but was always too poor or lazy to actually do come Chistmas Eve: matching pjs for the kids.  How cute would they be Christmas morning, tearing through their gifts like little possessed demons, wearing matching footie pajamas? Soooo cute.

This year, my youngest wore some hand-me-downs I got from a co-worker (which I’m not knocking. They’re cute and I love them and I’m thankful we have them), and my oldest wore a borrowed t-shirt/sweatpant combo we were given when she power-puked all over my friend’s livingroom after dinner on Christmas Eve.

Next year: matching footies.

6. I will fnd ways to focus on the True Meaning of Christmas.

I mean… not, like, Jesus or anything, but like, friends, family, community, feels… We’ll spend more time with family and friends, give to charity and/or volunteer to drive home the importance of love, community, and helping others.

7. I will make Butterbean’s birthday special.

Butterbean gets the shaft year after year because she was born so close to Christmas. Next year, we’re going to take some time out to make her birthday special.

What are your holiday traditions, and what (if anything) will you do differently next year?

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