We’re in the middle of a HUGE move to the other side of the world. All of our stuff is spread out across the world. #militaryfamilyproblems… amiright!? Some of our stuff is in storage in the DC Area, some of our stuff is in Las Vegas, and some of our stuff is in Singapore.
My husband is in DC.
The kids in I are in Las Vegas.
I have no idea where our Elf on the Shelf is.
I think our Christmas tree is in Singapore.
Its IN.CRED.IBLY chaotic but we’re making it work and not taking anything away from the magic of the holidays from the kids at all!
So here are some things to keep in mind this holiday season for any family but this is especially helpful if you’re traveling/transient family just like us:
Adjust your traditions if you have to– The weekend before Thanksgiving, we blast Christmas music, put up the tree, and put up all the decorations. Since we don’t have our stuff we called in a we called in a huge favor from my Mother in Law. The kids *sort of * decorated the tree, but let’s be honest -- I did most of the work! We blasted Christmas music, we decorated a tree, and good times were had. Their dad wasn't here and it wasn't our tree but we still decorated a tree before Thanksgiving! We still listened to music, we still got into the Christmas spirit, we still spent time with family!
Always have food. – It’s so funny how much stress and chaos can be diluted with food! Always have food in your bag, in your fridge, in your car, in your pockets – whatever it is, wherever it is, make sure you have food or snacks. When we were decorating the tree, the kids LOST THEIR MINDS – fighting over every small little thing! They were fighting over WHO will hang what, HOW it was hung, WHERE it was hung. My mom expertly put some Red Baron Pizza in the oven while we were decorating and it was done right when the fighting commenced. Grandmas – the expert moms. They are always thinking ahead.
Quality time over Quantity of things. – As a military family, we’re literally moving every year. We purge every year. Toys get donated every year. A few years ago we stopped asking for presents for Christmas or birthdays but we ask for presence. (Now - before you think we're the WORST PARENTS EVER -- we still give and get presents but we just don't get anything crazy expensive.) Our family packs everything for two weeks into already over stuffed luggage – so bringing back presents and gifts is really difficult! The kids started asking for “sushi dates”, “movie dates”, “trips to the arcade” with family and friends they don’t see often.
"our family stopped asking for presents and instead ask for presence."
Comparison is a thief. – I wish I learned this a whole lot earlier than I did. One of things I found myself doing around the holidays is compare my life to my Instagram feed/my Facebook feed/my friends. And like, WHY!? I found myself thinking:
“ah, their tree is SO CUTE I wish my tree looked like that."
“OMG. I love those decorations, I need my house to look like that house”
“they got their kids those presents for Christmas? I should get that!”
“that’s what their wearing for the holidays? I need a new wardrobe”
Your current situation is someone’s dream. Your normal is someone’s wish.
I’m not saying “settle”. What I’m saying is that when your kids are adults they’re not going to be like “dang! My family outfits from Christmas 2018 were SO COORDINATING AND LEGIT!” (cuz your kids are going to look back in 2073 and be like "zeetus-lepeedus! what am i wearing!?"😭😂) and or like “Ugh, I think if my parents actually got me they presents that my childhood friend got, I would’ve followed their path and done exactly as my parents wanted me to do…”
There will always be “the next best thing” after you get the next best thing. The finish line will always move. When you feel like you’ve achieved THE PERFECT HOLIDAY IMAGE... it will already be obsolete because the trend will change!
Adopt the Nike Mentality. – Stop thinking “what will other people think?”. Do what you think best is for your family and just do it! You want to spend the holidays on a family vacation and not visit any extended family? Just do it. Want to propose to your partner at your aunt’s Christmas dinner? Just do it. Want to sing at your place of worship? Just do it. Want to sign your kids up for lessons instead of buy presents? Just do it.
Be unapologetically yourself this holiday season!
Let your kids be unapologetically themselves this holiday season!
Always have food ready! And have a HAPPY HOLIDAY! I love ya’ll <3