Mom’s Holiday Survival Guide

By Jody Arsenault

Mom's Holiday Survival Guide

While I was taking a stroll through Costco the other day, I realized that “that time of year” is coming. Yes, the time of year when we start to think about decorations, gifts, family and food … the holiday season. I know in our home it can be a wonderful time of year (just like the song), but for some, including myself, it can also be stressful and a taxing time of year.


Hopefully, my “Mom’s Holiday Survival Guide” will make the holiday season a bit less stressful this year.


  • Get a large calendar and place it in a common area in your home where everyone can see it. We all know that with the holidays come gatherings, parties and holiday activities. Mark your activities on this calendar as a reminder and to stay organized. If you are the lucky individual who has to plan the events, write them down and book your events well in advance. This way, booking for the events or facilities will not be forgotten.
  • Make a meal plan for all your events and shop accordingly. If/when you have company over, know that food will be consumed. Whether it’s an evening with appetizers or a full turkey dinner with ALL the fixings, you need to know what you are making. Knowing what you are serving and making a shopping list to accommodate will help you avoid unexpected surprises.  Also, remember this is not a time to try new fancy dishes because you have no idea how they will turn out. Go with what you know to avoid a possible dinner catastrophe.
  • One trick is to spread your spending throughout the year. With so many traditions there are many gifts to give, and gift giving can sometimes be expensive. There is nothing wrong with starting your shopping in the spring. If you see a sale, keep the holiday season in mind.
  • Mix it up and start some new traditions. Sometimes there is lots of stress in trying to keep up with traditions and doing what you have always done. Do something different by doing some charity work, trying new foods (with your immediate family) for supper or playing a fun new game.
  • You have to take care of yourself so you can help others. As with any other time of year you need to remember to take care of yourself. Take time out for yourself and do something you like to do. After all, you will be catering to everyone else for the next couple of weeks.
  • Get the whole family involved. Decorating can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. Take the time to make this fun. Make it a fun family activity, put some festive music on, get some hot apple cider simmering and have a blast decorating and reminiscing about past holidays. 
  • Label everything properly. Keep this tip in mind when the holiday season is over and the decorations need to be housed until next seasonYou will thank me for this next year.
  • There is a greater reason for the season. Lastly, remember the reason you are doing everything. Whether you are celebrating Christmas as our family does or just enjoying the holidays with family and friends, keep the greater reason in mind when you are toiling and working for your Christmas season.


With this survival guide, I hope the holiday season is a little less stressful this year for all the moms out there! What are your tips for other moms trying to make the holiday season less stressful?