Family/Motherhood/Military Life

I Found My Holiday Spirit…and You Can Too!

Family Friday

I'm part of Post A Day 2016

I found my holiday spirit and you can too

Do you ever feel pressured to be this amazing parent who will give their kids the “perfect” Christmas experience no matter what?

As I sit down to write tonight, I just logged off of Facebook and my head is spinning.

There is SO much pressure on parents on a daily basis to be “above and beyond parents.” Most of the time, I feel like I do a pretty darn good job being a “single mom” a majority of the time and raising our kids an ocean away from family and with a husband deployed out in the ocean somewhere most of the year with little to no communication with  him. I honestly don’t ever question if I’m a good mom. My kids are healthy, happy, love God and are experiencing love. What more could I ask for?

However, during the holidays, the expectations to be the “perfect parent” just skyrocket.

These varnished and unrealistic expectations can make even the most confident parent question themselves.

Am I giving enough gifts?

Am I giving too many gifts?

Did we donate enough gifts to charity?

Should I have a real tree or a fake tree?

Do I have enough Christmas lights on my house?

Did I give good enough gifts to the kids’ teachers?

Where did I put that address book so I can send out Christmas cards? Oh, look! Here are the cards from LAST YEAR that I didn’t get sent out!


All of a sudden, getting our kids fed and sending them to school with clean clothes and a healthy lunch isn’t good enough.

During December, on top of the normal expectations, we have to be shopping Amazon for the best holiday gift deals. We need to become Betty Crocker and start whipping out enough “home-made” cookies to feed an army!

And, don’t even get me started on the Elf on the Shelf!


Like, who came up with that crap anyway? As if we don’t have enough going on the way it is! Now, I have to browse Pinterest for hours to come up with some “new” mischievous thing for them be doing?

I’ll be honest, my elf level has plummeted a lot this year.

We haven’t done the actual “Elf on the Shelf.” We have done “Kindness Elves” since my kids were little. Instead of them doing naughty things, our Elves will bring us activities to do to show kindness to others. For example, last year, they brought us new aprons, cookie cutters and cookie mix with a note saying, “let’s make cookies for our friends and neighbors.”

This year, it has become more of a “hide and seek” game with our elves.

Let’s face it! I’m one parenting it this year. I’m worn out. I’m out of ideas.

I do love seeing their faces after I move the Elves from one place to another. They get just as excited playing hide and seek as they did when the Elves brought fun activities and it’s MUCH easier. It’s much simpler. Best of all….they may not even move every day! #winning!

Changing the way we do our Elves has taught me a lot this season.

It has pointed out how, a lot of the pressure I was feeling was unnecessary.

My kids don’t NEED a silly elf to make the holiday special or to help us show kindness to others.

My kids don’t NEED me to risk my life pretending to be Clark Griswald and hanging up award-winning Christmas lights in our yard (no matter how many times they beg me for more Christmas blow up decorations!)

My kids don’t NEED me to have fresh-baked sugar cookies for them to decorate after school.

My kids don’t NEED me to take them to the Christmas tree farm to chop down a tree.

You know what my kids DO NEED?


They need me!

They need me to be the confident mommy that I am. They need me to have enough energy to tuck them in at night. They need me to keep making them healthy lunches and doing so with a grateful heart. They don’t need me so worn out at the end of the day from giving them the “perfect” Christmas that I can’t be their “perfect” mommy.

I love them so much it hurts.

The holidays are supposed to be a special time for us all to enjoy that love we have for each other.

So, do me a favor. Stop. Just stop trying to make Christmas “perfect.” Stop trying to make your tree look like Joanna Gaines decorated it. Do it with your kids and smile when you see those bulbs all clustered at eye level.

The memories are made in those moments when we slow down to just enjoy the moment. When we are too busy trying to perfect things, we lose sight of what it’s all about.

Take it for me.

I started this Christmas season feeling a bit low.

With my husband deployed, I assumed it was just going to be an awful holiday this year.

But, you know what? It’s turning out to be one of the best ones we’ve had. We have simplified SO much which has made it all so much better!

Mele Kalikimaka everyone!

I found my holiday spirit and you can too

With Aloha,



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18 thoughts on “I Found My Holiday Spirit…and You Can Too!

  1. Well said! I often marvel at military moms and single moms. My hat is off to you because I can’t fathom how a person makes that work. Clearly people are capable but it takes a very special person with a lot of strength! 😃

    Liked by 1 person

  2. From what I read every day I believe you are a fantastic mum. Or ‘mom’ as you crazy Americans like to say 😂 you share many similar traits with my own wife, Fionnuala. You put your kids before everything else and live your life through them. Kindness Elves is a brilliant idea. I’m ready to strangle our ‘Elf on a Shelf’ and he’s only been here a week 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! You and your wife seem to have so much in common with my husband and I. I think we’d be great friends!
      Oh, the elves;) I really had fun with it at first. But, now that it’s tamed down, I’m enjoying watching everyone else’s posts! Ha What has yours done this week?


  3. It seems like there are so many high expectation during this time of the year. And I feel like sometimes we forget what this time of year is all about. For me it is spending time with family, making cookies, making Christmas dinner, and making memories along the way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! Exactly! I think our mindset during those actives are also important. I know I used to struggle with wanting the “perfect” tree. I didn’t want the kids’ help etc. b/c it wouldn’t look “right.” However, now the kids help and it’ just as nice. And, you know what? It’s actually less stressful and our memories of setting up the tree are turning into something special rather than just something we do as “part of the holiday.” I’m really enjoying this new perspective of mine. I wish I would’ve picked it up sooner! ha

      How are you doing? I tried to comment a few times on your “friend” post. It didn’t look like it was letting me. So, there either isn’t a comment OR the same comment will show up 2938 times! ha Sorry about that. Are you feeling any better today? I’ve been praying for you!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah I think doing these together is so much more fun! And then you start new traditions that will carry on for years.
        I’m doing pretty good. I’m sorry about that.
        Yes my foot feels pretty good. I’m definitely getting my stamina back. I was on my feet for a longer time yesterday. And my whole body felt tired and sore not just my foot. So I think that is good. Today I’m taking it easy, because I don’t want to rock the boat. And thanks for your prayers I appreciate them!
        Hope you have a nice weekend!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You’re welcome!
        It is okay. People who can’t make time for me is their loss. Not being cocky. But I’m just kind of over it. I’m not going to over extend myself anymore.
        I have a few people that are always here for me! So I will be fine!
        Thanks for checking on me! I appreciate it!

        Liked by 1 person

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