Holidays Shouldn’t be this Stressful..

November 28, 2011

So a lot happens to my family between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  It’s a terrible time, and while I’m supposed to be enjoying the holidays, I end up more dreading the schedule conflicts – along with biting off more than I can chew.


All of these scheduling conflicts seriously makes me dream of the day that I can ‘cancel’ Christmas and book a flight to London for a nice family vacation instead of dealing with my calendar!  We can celebrate everything there instead.

We Celebrate several birthdays in November – mostly right at Thanksgiving.  It’s not too horrible considering that I really just have to show up to Thanksgiving on my side of the family and I’ve got 90% of those birthdays covered in one trip.


But then… December happens.

My oldest son’s birthday the 12th, followed by my Brother-in-Laws graduation on the 16th, and my Husbands Birthday on the 18th.  All three of those need their own special occasion: We’re having a birthday party for Andrew, and a Birthday Dinner with Joe’s Family, and my BIL’s graduation is apparently an entire evening as well.

Have you ever heard the term ‘CF’ Cluster F***?  We used to use that term in the dental office when there were more than one cranky/needy patients scheduled at the same time.

My Sister-in-Law and Mother-in-Law both work retail – and that’s what makes the scheduling the most complicated.. They rarely get the opportunity to choose which days they have off – and then they have to be synchronized – AND Then it’s the holidays.  Mandatory Schedules. No time-off allowed.

Copy of December 2010 030

Christmas is a few days after the Birthday Chaos – where my attention gets divided between my Home-Made Christmas obligations that we’re celebrating on my mom’s side on Christmas Eve – Then Christmas morning here, and immediately leaving for the in-laws – and splitting halfway through the day for my larger family get-together.  All three of these ‘parties’ I have cooking and crafting and gifting obligations for.

And then my BIL’s birthday a few days later.

Does it make anyone exhausted just reading that?  It does me!!

What do you do to make the Holidays more simple?



  1. We have a lot of family that works in retail too, it can be very hard to get us all together during the holidays!

  2. I make the holidays simpler by going somewhere else. LOL We always go out of town for a week or so at Christmas. I’d love to go to London for holiday!

  3. I make the holidays easy by celebrating Christmas just with my hubby and girls. There’s no need to add travel and frustration into the mix, especially with young kids. Family is understanding, they once had kids too. And we really get to focus on what the holidays mean to us, spending it blissfully with those closest to us and we really feel the love.

  4. I got overwhelmed just reading that! We don’t have that much going on, but I do split Christmas Eve and Christmas Day between my family and hubby’s family.

  5. My Christmases uses to be like this… but thank God not anymore. It was like a hundred family members demanded you show to their Christmas meals. It WAS exhausting! I feel for ya!

  6. Your December sounds similar to mine! We have 9 family birthdays in December, plus Christmas. Isn’t it insane trying to get ready for it all? We used to do one big family birthday party, but with everyone’s busy schedules even that has become complicated! Makes it hard to really enjoy the holidays sometimes.
    A trip to London sounds perfect! =)

  7. I haven’t figured out how to make it simple. I have just accepted it as a crazy time.

  8. The holidays are so stressful! We have so many birthdays in December and January, it’s crazy!

  9. Allison Lewis says:

    Wow, you have a lot going on! We don’t have all those birthdays, but there are so many traditions on both sides of the family. Plus, my parents are divorced, so between them and the in-laws, we basically have three Thanskgivings and three Christmases. It’s definitely a bit crazy at times.

    My suggestion would be just to try and enjoy every moment and try not to get caught up in the stress. Easier said than done!

  10. Amanda N. says:

    Honestly, I just relax and go with the flow. My husband hasn’t figured out how to relax yet and gets completely worked up.

    My birthday’s the 12th, too! And I’ve got a cousin who shares a birthday with me and another who’s birthday’s on the 8th.

    We’re doing Christmas with my extended family on my mom’s side on the 11th. Then we’re driving out of state the following weekend for Christmas with my husband’s step-father’s extended family. Then we do Christmas Eve dinner and presents with my parents and siblings, then head over to my MIL’s for her extended family Christmas Eve party. Then on Christmas morning we do our own stockings and gifts to each other, then head back over to my MIL’s for stockings and presents and pancakes there. Then we head over to my grandma’s and do a lunch celebration with my extended family on my father’s side. THEN we drive 45 min. out of town for a dinner celebration with my husband’s father’s extended family.

    We have a LOT of Christmas at once. It takes a lot of prep and we host NOTHING. I make lists of everyone we need to be getting gifts for and what I’ve gotten, need to get, and who’s finished. I do all the gift gathering and wrapping ahead of time (there’s a closet full of wrapped gifts in my hallway as we speak) and drop off as many wrapped presents as I can to the celebration locations they belong in the week before-hand (gifts are going to be heading over to my grandma’s this Wednesday!). The only gifts we carry with us the day-of are the ones we have to drive out of town for. I also try to make sure the car’s cleaned out and full of gas before we get to Christmas Eve.

    Otherwise…I just remain calm, go with the flow, and remember to breathe. It’s Christmas! It’s about fun and family and love and celebration! Not money, presents, numbers on the clock, or stress. If things don’t work out, I get creative and do the best I can. If we’re running late between celebrations, they’ll just have to go on without us until we get there. 🙂

    • That sounds an awful lot like what we go through!!! It’s easy to remain calm, but the innner stress of it all just builds and builds!
      Just reading your itinerary makes me exhausted!

  11. susie lee wiener says:

    For my hubby and I holidays aren’t stressful since it’s only the both of us and we get to eat out and buy each other a present, but it’s also not as much fun. 🙂

  12. Shelly Peterson says:

    WOW it sure does make me tired reading all that lol. I have my daughters Birthday in December and my sons in January. And I thought I had alot going on. I don’t have In laws to split time up with at holidays so for me it’s not too crazy. I wish I had some ideas to make things simpler but I guess holidays are expected to be busy and stressful. I say just go with the flow and maybe when it’s all over with you take a spa day or something and relax 🙂

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