You all know by now that I credit Jessica with rescuing my summers. Okay, that may be overly dramatic. I wouldn’t say our summers were ever terrible, but her suggestions have definitely helped ease my stress and let me have structure AND fun, all while keeping my sanity. I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that people in my real life always remark on how incredibly “together” and “amazing” I am as I happily navigate through these weeks of at-home camps.
December is a notoriously stressful time for me. I always *think* I have it all together. Truthfully, I really do shop and plan early and I’m never scurrying to mail cards at the last minute. On the SURFACE, I seem fine.
But there has to be a reason that I frequently end up sick on Christmas. I’ve spiked a fever over the holidays more times than I can count.
The fact that I birthed a child ON Christmas Eve– not “Christmas week”, not “near Christmas”– but ON Christmas Eve doesn’t help matters. I put so much pressure on myself year after year in part because I just feel so bad that her birthday is right smack dab ON Christmas Eve. How does this usually play out?
- I become bound and determined to have a “friend party” as close as is humanly possible to her birthday while still ensuring some kids will be able to make is, usually around the 22nd.
- I make sure Christmas Eve morning is all about her, preparing “birthday” foods and doing “birthday” things and trying to ignore all my Christmas to-do list.
- I suddenly panic when my family (genuinely kindly) inquires, “Will you be bringing cupcakes or anything to celebrate C’s birthday?” and feel compelled to come up with something. After all, what kind of mother doesn’t have CAKE on her kid’s birthday???
- I then throw a “family party” sometime between Christmas and New Year’s while my brother and his family are in town to maximize the time spent with cousins.
- I collapse with relief after the New Year passes. And then realize I have a January baby too…
Ask me how this is working for me.
I need a better plan. I need to try something new. I need a fresh system.
Jessica’s A Simpler Season offers me just that.
I had the fantastic opportunity to get a sneak peak at A Simpler Season and I will tell you this– I couldn’t find a stone Jessica left unturned. From crafts to holiday clothes to family drama, she’s got it covered. There are ideas that range from simple to more involved and check-lists to help you pick and choose and tweak it to make it work for you.
I love that.
We all have different schedules, priorities, and stressors. While I have a Christmas Eve baby tossed in the mix, others have step families to involve. While some families struggle to visit all their local relatives, others have no one in town and need to find a way to still connect.
Jessica’s got tips for all of us.
Mostly, I need to come up with a better game plan so I’m not running myself ragged. And if that means I let something go, then so be it. I have to think my family would rather have me healthy and happy at Christmas than watch me host four parties while burning up. Right?
Do I think I’m a total hot mess when it comes to being prepared at Christmastime? Nope. Do I think I’m going to benefit from the tips and planning sheets provided in A Simpler Season? You betcha.
So go. Check it out. Jessica has kindly included a link to some sample pages so you can “try before you buy”, if you will. And let me know if you, too, are ready to have A Simpler Season.
Note: Ooh, ooh! I just saw that Jessica has provided a coupon code good through July 31, 2012. Just use the code XMASJULY in your shopping cart to save $4 off any purchase of $8 or more. Even better!
This post contains affiliate links, but all opinions given are mine and mine alone. I almost NEVER promote ebooks, so that tells you something. I honestly believe this one would benefit many of you.