Rookie mom holiday confessions

Did you notice that the very second Halloween was over the holiday mayhem was already in progress? I suppose it makes sense because Thanksgiving is as early as it can possibly be. And, well, once that’s over, IT’S ALREADY CHRISTMAS. “Black Friday” even starts on Thursday. Seriously.

While I’d love to share my tips about keeping it all together, that’s not happening this year. Since Whitney confessed she doesn’t want to buy her kids special holiday clothes, I thought I’d tell you a few of my Good Enough Christmas confessions.

  1. I always forget how we do Santa Claus from one year to the next. Does he wrap stuff? Does he only give one thing? Does he buy the one thing that the parents would never give? Yeah, that sounds good.
  2. Now I remember, Santa doesn’t wrap fancy. He uses plain brown paper that comes as protective stuffing from our online holiday shopping. We save any pretty paper for presents from us, because we deserve the credit. Or something.
  3. I color-code my kids. Yes, I do this with socks but also wrapping paper. Therefore, I don’t have to label the packages to know who they’re for, and my kids can’t shake the gifts early.
  4. Gingerbread houses are adorable, but it really bugs me to build them. I think I’m too uptight for that kind of fun. Last year, I asked the babysitter to do it with my sons. Win win. I do, however, like smashing it and eating the village.
  5. I’m a sucker for matching holiday jammies. I have loved the super expensive jammies in the past and have bought them for the next year on December 26. Since I forgot to do this last year, I bought some cheap holiday longjohns from Old Navy and called it Good Enough.
  6. Babies can skip Christmas. Call me a scrooge, but my newborns do better when they nap through the chaos. They eat less wrapping paper and ribbon that way too. In fact, with all the joyous family gift-giving, I don’t even buy the baby a present.
  7. I only cook or bake what I like. I am quite content to buy prepared Thanksgiving or Christmas meals from Whole Foods and just cook the stuffing or sweet potato pie to make myself happy. My sons may eat a ton or literally NOTHING so why stress myself out cooking for them?
  8. I prefer other people’s decorations. I love a sparkly Christmas tree and put one up regardless of other family member’s interest, but in recent years, I have become even more excited to drive around to other people’s homes like the decorated streets in Alameda. It’s so much less effort. And electricity!
  9. I stuff my own stocking. Not exclusively, but I have come to accept that my husband is much less stressed if he doesn’t have to come up with little trinkets for me. I have been known to buy other presents for myself to put under the tree, but that has been awkward.
  10. Photos last forever so I force them. I don’t care if they’re feeling festive, my children will be subjected to numerous forced photo opps. I’ll pile them all in the yellow chair and snap the pictures ’til they’re cute. I’ll also try to get a snapshot of the kids pointing at the stockings. And at least one of me.

Whitney told me that she cut up last year’s holiday cards — you know the part that says Happy Holidays or Tis the Season — and uses the card stock scrap as gift tags. Clever girl.

Hopefully, my true confessions give you permission to be the perfectly imperfect parent you are this holiday season. I’d love to hear any cheats of yours in the comments!!


This reflection on perfectly imperfect holiday confessions was sponsored by Hallmark! This series has been appearing monthly on Rookie Moms, and will continue through the end of the year.