The (Hopefully) Sane Holiday Therapy Thread - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 85 Old 11-04-2013, 06:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Anybody else interested in some Holiday Group Therapy?  

 

Every year it starts....

 

Pies for multiple Thanksgiving dinners... trying to go to everyone's dinners or at least visit.... planning activities for every day in December, Advent-style..... Gingerbread house.... handmade gifts..... Photos ..... Christmas/New Year's cards (depending on how late I am).... 2 Christmases plus our own family Christmas.... shopping for the tree... tree trimming.... Waldorf Winter Faire (our annual foray into the Waldorf World).... Zoo Lights..... Winter Gymnastics showoff.... shopping .... just *one* more cool thing for the stockings (and another and another) .... making a wreath to hang by the front door (OK, I was really proud of that one, and it gives me a place to stick the ornaments I hate that the girls won't let me get rid of).

 

Something's gotta go.  I have a few ideas of what should stay and what should go.  But I need some good folks to TALK ME DOWN when I'm getting too crazy.  I need help editing the Holiday Season.  I need a go-to place to vent a little (just a wee little bit, I promise!)  I need SANITY!!!

 

Anybody with me?   surrender.gif


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#2 of 85 Old 11-05-2013, 08:09 AM
 
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Count me in!

 

I like to think I am sane but elements of the holiday sometimes spin out of control.

 

Last year my biggest "problem" was the tree, the lights and my DH's wacky behavior that he cannot/will not recognize as a problem.  I do the lights and love to decorate.  The problem is the co-dependent ghosts of Christmas past come to haunt us.

 

I would also like some ideas for hands on activities to do with my 8yo.


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#3 of 85 Old 11-05-2013, 09:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Oooh, we do not have codependent ghosts in our house.  Sounds very Gothic!  

 

I had a lot of fun with these paper stars from Martha Stewart.  Those are one of the few activities that I'd like to keep this year (uh-oh..... it starts!)  You can do these stars and cut them up all lacy.  Vi Hart has some fun snowflake videos from last year, similar to these MS ones.  I'll find the link to those as well.  But now, am I enabling everyone?  What about editing?  Aack!

 

BTW, dh knows very well to help position the tree and stand the hell back. :p  OK, I'm a bit aggressively possessive about the process, I'll admit.

 

ETA:  Here's the Vi Hart snowflake link.


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#4 of 85 Old 11-05-2013, 12:00 PM
 
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Oh dear, 3 posts in and you've already gone off the rails! orngtongue.gif

I'm no help in this thread -- I gleefully stay up late every night in December making elaborate scenes for our Elf on the Shelf. bag.gif

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#5 of 85 Old 11-05-2013, 12:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh dear, 3 posts in and you've already gone off the rails! orngtongue.gif
 

I know!  I know!  But you haven't heard what I'm not trying doing this year......


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#6 of 85 Old 11-05-2013, 12:07 PM
 
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I'm no help in this thread -- I gleefully stay up late every night in December making elaborate scenes for our Elf on the Shelf. bag.gif

 

We broke the rules and let DS play with his Elf.  I think he was 3yo when someone gave him the book/Elf and there was NO WAY he was letting go of that Elf.  I get it out every Thanksgiving and he still sleeps with it until Christmas.  I do, however, need to remember to reposition him each morning before DS wakes up.


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#7 of 85 Old 11-05-2013, 12:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So, what is this Elf on the Shelf thing?  


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#8 of 85 Old 11-05-2013, 01:04 PM
 
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Here you go:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Elf_on_the_Shelf

 

OK, now don't make us stage an intervention here.  :D

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#9 of 85 Old 11-05-2013, 02:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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OK, now don't make us stage an intervention here.  :D

 

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#10 of 85 Old 11-05-2013, 07:38 PM
 
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OP just gave me a panic attack. :-) 


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#11 of 85 Old 11-06-2013, 06:11 AM
 
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So, what is this Elf on the Shelf thing?

 

I can't remember where, maybe it was on Mothering, someone posted a link to a snark about the Elf and how parents (mostly moms) go over the top with the Elf thing.  It was really funny.  Hopefully someone with better internet skills than mine can find it.


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#12 of 85 Old 11-06-2013, 08:15 AM - Thread Starter
 
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OP just gave me a panic attack. :-) 

So far I think starting this thread has had the *exact* opposite effect as I wanted!  I am so sorry!


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#13 of 85 Old 11-06-2013, 05:31 PM
 
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So far I think starting this thread has had the *exact* opposite effect as I wanted!  I am so sorry!

 

Hahahaha don't worry - I would've had one anyway the minute I started trying to plan my own to do list! 


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#14 of 85 Old 11-08-2013, 11:04 AM
 
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Room for another nut job on this thread?


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#15 of 85 Old 11-08-2013, 11:09 AM
 
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Room for another nut job on this thread?

 

Or a slacker???  :Sheepish


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#16 of 85 Old 11-08-2013, 11:23 AM
 
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Hey!!! I'm no slacker!!

 

I've just spent that last 10 minutes very productively trying to change my Avatar to something more fitting with this thread theme.

 

As you can see...no success.


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#17 of 85 Old 11-08-2013, 01:31 PM
 
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I am so not ready for the holiday season.  We are supposed to go to my brother's for Thanksgiving but I've changed my mind.  Honestly, I hate the idea of driving out of state on holidays.  

Not only that, my little dude is highly allergic to cats.  Yep, my brother has one.  So I'm thinking a nice, cozy, lazy day is in order.  (I won't even go into the whole family dynamic thing). :nut 


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#18 of 85 Old 11-08-2013, 03:53 PM
 
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Hey!!! I'm no slacker!!

 

I've just spent that last 10 minutes very productively trying to change my Avatar to something more fitting with this thread theme.

 

As you can see...no success.


Oh, crap, I meant myself!!! 

 

Leave the Avatar, it makes me think of what I'm like this time of year.


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#19 of 85 Old 11-08-2013, 03:56 PM
 
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I am so not ready for the holiday season.  We are supposed to go to my brother's for Thanksgiving but I've changed my mind.  Honestly, I hate the idea of driving out of state on holidays.  

Not only that, my little dude is highly allergic to cats.  Yep, my brother has one.  So I'm thinking a nice, cozy, lazy day is in order.  (I won't even go into the whole family dynamic thing). :nut 


We are about to tell MIL that we're not hosting Thanksgiving and invite her for a more low-key dinner on an alternate weekend.  And it's true, we're not hosting -- her.  I am giving no more holidays over to dealing with that woman.  We're having DS1 if he can make it and a friend of my mother's (plus my mother who lives with us).  Family baggage blows, and I hope you get your cozy holiday.


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#20 of 85 Old 11-08-2013, 05:40 PM
 
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We are about to tell MIL that we're not hosting Thanksgiving and invite her for a more low-key dinner on an alternate weekend.  And it's true, we're not hosting -- her.  I am giving no more holidays over to dealing with that woman.  We're having DS1 if he can make it and a friend of my mother's (plus my mother who lives with us).  Family baggage blows, and I hope you get your cozy holiday.

 

Oy - I hope this works out for you! 

 

We're having my in-laws over for Thanksgiving, and if my MIL doesn't bring a suitcase full of cupcakes for Little Man and try to re-clean my already clean house, we'll have a fine time. If not... I'll be having several glasses of wine and biting my tongue. 


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#21 of 85 Old 11-08-2013, 08:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Still awaiting definitive Thanksgiving plans, but I've already done some editing.  Thank goodness, because so far December looks as crazy as ever.  I've decided to say "no" to the Thanksgiving/housewarming, and postpone a visit until mid-December when I can also deliver the kids' (little) Christmas presents.  Not sure what to give my new 7yo grandniece, but this stopwatch for my 5yo grandnephew, and a Corolle doll that belonged to my girls that is in excellent condition for my new grandniece.

 

So, one visit down for that weekend.

 

Next, I don't need to bake pies for one Thanksgiving dinner.  In fact, I'm not sure I'm bringing much at all, if anything, :2whistle and hope no one notices.  That leaves some pies for the other Thanksgiving, and I don't even know if I need to do that.  Not sure when the 2nd Thanksgiving dinner is.  My niece's husband is a police officer and he often works.  I should know this weekend.

 

New vow: no buying Christmas anything until December.  Scratch that--one little thing.  My *NOT L.E.D* multi-colr tree lights.  I managed to have all 4 sets working (with some wiggling) for the entire season last year, and it's likely I will need new ones.


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#22 of 85 Old 11-09-2013, 02:38 AM
 
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I forgot Christmas was getting so close. I'm up nursing the baby at 5:30 am and I feel like I should stay awake and prepare!!
My mother is moving next week to a smaller house so this year I am hosting Christmas. Which means my slacker attitude about decorating must die! Good thing DH has always loved to do that, this year I'll facilitate it more smile.gif

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#23 of 85 Old 11-09-2013, 04:33 AM
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Oh crap, if I make it though Thanksgiving, I will celebrate.  It has been a nightmare already. . . I will elaborate a little bit.  After all, I am up in the middle of the night (in part) due to this.  Now, if I can just keep it short.   It is my year to do Thanksgiving (this is just for dh's side of the family.  We decided long ago: Thanksgiving with his side, Easter with mine.  We do the family shuffle for Christmas.  Anyways, this year also marks the fiftieth anniversary of my in laws.  Their anniversary was in October, but the vote (not mine) was to celebrate it over Thanksgiving.  Dh comes from a large family; I don't think I have ever gotten my way (whiny, I know).  We had planned on having a small dinner party with the family and their close friends.  Then it was revealed that mom really wanted "the wedding reception" she never had.  So then, we were trying to do both. . . dinner with friends followed by a dessert reception with everyone they know.  Then someone realized:  hey, it is Amy's year to do Thanksgiving.  Let's skip the dinner thing because we will have a family dinner at her house anyways.  Thanks people.  While I do Thanksgiving every other year, normally not all the family is in town.  I am now hosting for roughly 45 people and wondering HOW I will manage to feed everyone and where I will put them.  Our house isn't tiny, but it isn't freakishly large either.  To top it off, some people decided we needed a large family photo done (now scheduled on the Wednesday evening before Thanksgiving) for a display of sorts at the anniversary party.  They want mom/dad with all their children and spouses.  They usually want to include all the grandkids too, but this time they want individual family photos to surround the larger photo.  We JUST had ours done this summer, but they won't work because we aren't in the "approved" color scheme.  So now, to top it all off, I am supposed to get my children dolled up for a photo too.  DH says no, but really, that won't fly and he knows it.  He is in denial.  Furthermore, I have been assigned tasks to do so that the decorating won't be just one person's job.  MY oldest daughter wrote several skits utilizing all the cousins (for entertainment/fun) and somehow she is also doing the slide show.  She is only 13 BTW.  Then, all the kids are supposed to write lovely letters to grandma and grandpa to show their appreciation for them.  My kids don't want to do it.  However, they will be bound in a book for them so it will be very obvious if my children don't participate.  Thing is, my kids are struggling with what to write.  Our children are treated differently than the other grandchildren and this hasn't gone unnoticed.  My oldest has started to get bitter about this fact.  (that can be another post).  She thinks she is doing enough already and I agree.  

 

So yeah, and my mother likes her Christmas shopping to be done by Thanksgiving.  She relies on me more and more for what to get my kids (and then she still adds in too much stuff).  Also, my oldest and youngest have birthdays in January, so she wants that taken care of now too.  I 'get' it that she wants them to like their gifts, but I just don't need anymore right now.  My kids don't NEED anything.  They are the only grandkids on my side of the family and are spoiled.  Not so bad though when I get input, but again I don't need anymore things to do right now.  However, I am also trying to study for part two of the enrolled agent exam, homeschooling is bumpy this year, and I can't seem to shed any pounds.  Ugh!  I just want it to be over. 

 

Amy


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#24 of 85 Old 11-09-2013, 08:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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That is a load, AAK.  Hopefully you can take something of a HSing vacation until after Thanksgiving.  It's probably too late to make them separate dates?  This would send me to the nut house.  I'm sure you can pull it off--and do it without going postal-- but yikes!  

 

But since your Thanksgiving is so over-the-top crazy, do you mind :innocent if I feel (just a teensy weensy) bit better by comparison?


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#25 of 85 Old 11-09-2013, 08:52 AM
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But since your Thanksgiving is so over-the-top crazy, do you mind :innocent if I feel (just a teensy weensy) bit better by comparison?

Good.  I am glad.  

Typing it all out made me feel a bit better too.  :-)


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#26 of 85 Old 11-09-2013, 12:40 PM
 
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AAK: Holy cow!!!!!!!!!! That is a crapload of expectations placed on you. After you recover from the ordeal, please come give us a juicy post with all the details!!

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#27 of 85 Old 11-09-2013, 02:30 PM
 
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Dinner for 45 is no easy feat - good luck to you!  I need to vent myself - this year was going to be a mild easy Christmas with no travel included - my family is all over the state and we usually try and congregate in one town and see each other - this year my bro and SIL and new niece are about 4 states away - they arent coming home - my mom is going out there Dec 28 - Jan 3 or so....which is great - we cant afford to fly the whole family out to see my brother anyway - hoping we can plan a road trip in the spring - we'll see.  

I have to get my DD back home from college - roughly, Dec 13 - so i will take my 3 yr old with me - leaving DH and 15 yr old DS home alone with no car - i can drive to my sisters, spend the night,  then on to get DD, then back home - when my mother found out i would be at my sisters she decided to come and visit at that time too ...ok - a few hours on a Thursday night - not too bad i suppose...now i hear my mother wants to exchange gifts at that time and invite my other brother and his wife.....my sister is beside herself - she often doesnt even put up a tree - and to have one by Dec 13 is ridiculous!  and to go from me and my 3 yr old for one night - to a big family party including presents ....WTF????  

she and i both have a tough time saying NO to our mother  - ahh the ghosts of co-dependents Christmas past.......

its not better on DH's side either....and we have 3 major birthdays in the first week on January (including my DH's Grandmother turning 90 this year!)  and my sister will be 40 on Christmas day.  There is WAY too much shopping to leave it until December - i have gotten a bit of a jump on it ...i also try to do so much handmade ....which leaves the whole house a messy disaster until well after Martin Luther King day......

My 3 yr old saw a string of Halloween lights at Walgreens this year that he insists we need to buy and put up on our Christmas Tree - i have no idea where he got this idea ....but i live in abject fear that he will remember this...and no - i never bought the lights!!!

Ugh - all this extra work - this may be the REAL reason that bears hibernate......


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#28 of 85 Old 11-09-2013, 02:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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AAK, if this group is far larger than the typical Thanksgiving, I'd be mentioning in no uncertain terms that you cannot possibly host this without some serious help from other families--dinner, decorations, everything.  I know, it's not my family so it's easy to say this.


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#29 of 85 Old 11-09-2013, 05:02 PM
 
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SweetSilver is right. Even if the 'rules' say that the hosting person typically does everything (and that's a bit odd to start with, isn't it? Don't most families hand out dessert/salad/bread/drinks assignments, no matter whose house it's at?), this is clearly an atypical occasion. Time for a mass email. Start by saying something like "Whew, what a year this is going to be! We have the combined madness of X, Y and Z occasions - let's get planning so it all goes smoothly." List the names of every family who can reasonably be expected to contribute, list everything that needs to be done, and underneath your name write down all the stuff you're already doing. Then sweetly advise everyone else to divide the rest of the tasks up between them, with a warning that if they don't pick themselves, you'll pick for them.

 

I mean, seriously. Yeowch.

 

And yeah, it'd be awkward if your kids didn't contribute letters, but there's no reason they have to lie. :p They can list exactly what they're thankful for about your grandparents - no more, no less, no gushing. Heck, five lines each should do it.

 

Anyway. My holiday season isn't looking toooooo crazy, but well, still a bit crazy.

 

We'll do a Thanksgiving dinner with a few vaguely American or America-affiliated families we know. Mum's organising that, so all I'll have to do is show up with a dessert and maybe some bread. Easy.

 

Next task after that - dressing up DD, DS and my two little nephews and doing a photo shoot with them. We'll use the photos for Christmas gifts for the in-laws and overseas relatives. We did it last year and it was greatly appreciated.

 

Last year they wore sailor suits (well, sailor dress for DD), all made by me, and we went to the beach for photos. This year... any ideas? I've already rejected (on the grounds of 'too much work', mostly):

 

Pirates

Stargate: SG-1

Ninjas

Medieval knights and lady

Superheroes

Cowboys

 

Ideally the costumes/outfits would be wearable again (the kids all wore the sailor suits to church for months), not take too long to sew, and not require hugely expensive fabric. So, say, Wizard of Oz costumes would be out. I could just make them all plain ol' matching shirts and trousers, but that seems kinda boring after last year.

 

(ETA: Never mind. We decided to go with cowboys after all. Yay, that's one thing sorted!)

 

Anyway, after that, Christmas itself. I bought tons of presents ahead of time this year (thank you, New Year's Resolution!), so I'm not too frantic about that. I will be giving DD a bunch of clothes/costumes as gifts which I still need to sew, and I'm sewing DH a manly apron. Have to buy glass bottles for the homemade vanilla essence I'm giving people. Plus I need to figure out a nice activity we can do on Christmas Day itself, after church.

 

We might end up having a 'friends' Christmas dinner as well; we did last year. I won't be hosting, but - like last year - I'll probably do a fair bit of cooking. Breads, at least one dessert, sweet nibbles and fudge or truffles for the friends I didn't buy 'proper' gifts for. Not too bad.

 

The most stressful thing is that in early January, we're taking a big trip to Disneyland - which is awesome and exciting, of course, it's just another thing to think about and plan. Still have a fair few hotels and things to book, DH STILL hasn't gotten his passport sorted, yadda yadda... and we'd better not be too extravagant over Christmas! DD's stocking theme might be 'stuff to do on the plane'...

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#30 of 85 Old 11-09-2013, 06:10 PM
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My extended family decided to change the Christmas party from Christmas Day to a day my dh will be working.  Guess we're not going, because I don't want to go without him.


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