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Stress, asthma and the holidays — tips and tricks?

So I know everyone is super busy during the holidays — it's all shopping and Ugly Sweater parties and cookie swaps … and more shopping and, and, and … 

Stress can affect my sleep and trigger my asthma, and problems with sleep can affect a whole host of other things. I know I share that with @CAPuttPutt, and I know that @Pljohns knows a thing or two about southern holiday expectations. 

And I promise … my holiday prep doesn't even approach @GigiGibson's level of expertise. I am in AWE with her Christmas decorating photos that she's shared. Ditto @Shea, who makes every holiday so special for her kiddo.

I have so much left to do on my to-do list …

  • presents to be wrapped,
  • presents still to buy!
  • Cleaning … I cleaned, but now the house needs re-cleaning because DH has been sick and I've let some things slide.
  • Baking — I bought the stuff for my baking fest that I wanted to have on Friday, but now it's looking like I'll be making a mad dash for that last present and white tornado-ing the house again. 

In the middle of all this, my DD wants to go hang out with her friends or go shopping herself now that she's old enough to drive — and she's worked so hard this semester that she really DOES deserve time to goof off. Plus, did I mention that DH has been dreadfully ill with a vile tummybug? I've dispensed with picking things up and have been chasing him with Clorox wipes and wiping down everything he touches, breathes on or even looks at hard!

@lindamarie reminded me of something very wise in a recent reply about how she's picking and choosing … awesome advice! I just need to figure out how to take it!

So how do you balance everything? How do you get folks to pitch in and help? Or manage their expectations so that you're not burning the midnight oil?

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  • Pljohns

    K9SMOM2002-You are an AMAZING person with everything you juggle

    I too am in total AWE of @GigiGibson holidays-my house has never looked that nice and @Shea for making everything special for her son.

    I usually do better than I have this year-usually gifts are done by Thanksgiving and wrapped to send home with company so I don't have to ship them and I have baking done and dinner planned.  We have always done our big meal on Chrismas Eve so I can enjoy the kids at Christmas.  We started that as soon as they were big enough for Santa-why should I miss that fun and cook all day???  makes MIL furious, but it's MY house and she is welcome to find a restaurant if she wants a big meal on Christmas day.  

    This year, I couldn't get DH up to make the gifts he told me he would and that delayed EVERYTHING.  I was the last minute finding things for my work crew (at a reasonable price) and something for MIL and then had to pay shipping-OUCH!

    My check list is getting much smaller-

    • everything for Christmas dinner was bought last night-including fried turkey that all I have to do is heat in the oven for an hour
    • only 1 more gift to wrap and none to buy
    • baking done
    • house cleaned

    For the first time EVER, I'm just coasting until Christmas Eve and dinner won't be a big deal since we have no company for the first time ever.  I'm actually looking forward to a slower, quieter Christmas.  I was very sad as I walked through the store last week and couldn't just pick up things I normally did (just too tight of a budget) and we had no gifts under the tree but as we got them wrapped, I realized that there isn't a single gift that the kids aren't going to love and we have plenty-we just bought smaller gifts this year and stayed to a strict budget.

  • K8sMom2002
    Pljohns posted:

    I'm actually looking forward to a slower, quieter Christmas.

    Oh, that sounds so very nice! Awesome that you have so much done and your checklist is getting shorter!

    I think I got off schedule this year when DD wanted me to go prom dress shopping the day after Thanksgiving. I usually let her go Black Friday shopping with my sis, and I stay home and order ALL my gifts online. That way they come in and I get them wrapped.

    But this year, I've had to find time when I wasn't working and no one could peek over my shoulder to see what I was ordering. Add to that, I have my text messages synced on my personal laptop, so I had to wait until DD got through with her college history paper and exam before doing much in the way of ordering … didn't want text notifications of items shipped popping up and spoiling the surprise!

    I tell you one thing I want us to do as a family — watch The Christmas Carol together. I can get it on demand for free, and I think that will put the focus less on things than the spirit of Christmas. I watched part of it the other night, and the Christmas Present scene with the Cratchits made me tear up. I want to be more like Mr. and Mrs. Cratchit!

  • lindamarie

    One of my favorite quotes:  “And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”

    I'm going to try to let whatever happens, happen.  And I AM really going home now.

  • Kathy P

    I'm getting there! The girl and I went out shopping tonight. Picked up a few little things. At least I kinda have a plan now of what I need!

  • Pljohns

    Sounds like you are making progress Kathy!  I"m a list maker-DH jokes that I have a list to tell me what's on the other lists, but when I get to the bottom of the list-everything is done.

  • K8sMom2002

    LindaMarie, I'm inspired! I think I'll see if we can't have a classics Christmas movie festival! 

    AND I know the decoration I want to look for — a wall-hanging or picture or some sort of decoration with that quote! I'll bet somewhere they've got it.

  • Kathy P

    I do make lists! Sometimes they are just in my head, but other times I have a scatter of note paper and post it's! My dh writes himself notes on post it's and sticks them in his wallet!

  • Jen

    Well…it was toward the end of last week that I realized the time crunch for certain holiday related things – cards and school staff gifts.  I thought it through and decided to divvie up what needed to be done – ie, so many cards a day, so many batches of candy a day, etc.  That helped to keep things from getting too overwhelming.  I also decided to let the housework slide a bit so that I could focus on holiday stuff and attempt to not feel completely run down.  I am almost there with prep now – one gift card to get and then the wrapping.   I plan to put dh to work tomorrow.   Well…still need to shop for Christmas dinner, but will just do that this weekend when I do my weekly shop.