My aunt always used to say that Christmas is a woman’s holiday.
And she’s totally right.
Before I go any further, this post isn’t about bashing dads.
And I know there are a handful of fathers out there who do help out with shopping and wrapping and whatever.
But for the most part, moms around the world have been busting their asses over the last few weeks to give their kids a Christmas season they will remember. And also to make sure they let pretty much everyone they come into contact with on a regular basis know they are appreciated.
It’s not just about the shopping for presents. And wrapping them.
It’s about the thinking. And the details. And the time. So. Much. Time.
It’s making sure you contribute to the teacher’s class gift.
It’s letting the bus drivers know you appreciate what they do for your children.
It’s remembering your kids’ coaches.
It’s leaving something for the UPS guy or girl and the mail carrier and the garbage man and your hairdresser and whoever else.
It’s buying all the gifts not just for your children and your parents and your siblings and your nieces and nephews, but also for your husband’s parents and siblings.
So yeah, it is a lot about the shopping.
But it’s everything else, too.
It’s doing research and mapping out routes for your kids to see holiday light displays.
It’s decorating your house because as Number 4 says, “Mom! I love how every room in the house has a little bit of Christmas in it!”
It’s moving the damn elf around every day (and sometimes at 3 a.m. because you forgot to do it before you went to bed) because even though you think that f*cker is kind of creepy, your kids can’t wait to look for him every day.
It’s making reindeer food for Christmas Eve.
It’s making gingerbread houses with your kids because even though you want to f*&%ing kill yourself about ten minutes into it, once it’s all said and done, in hindsight, it still was (sort of) fun.
It’s blocking off time to make Christmas cookies with your children which are ultimately inedible because your children have licked every finger, utensil, bowl, and surface in the kitchen continuously for 75 minutes.
But they sure had fun doing it.
It’s making advent calendars full of activities that your kids will remember not just the following year, but well into adulthood.
It’s planning and executing and (eventually) mailing a bazillion Christmas cards.
It’s scouring Pinterest to make a perfect breakfast that everyone will love on Christmas morning and ask you to make again the following year.
It’s finding new Christmas pajamas for the whole family to wear on Christmas Eve.
It’s spending countless hours doing anything and everything you can to make the season extra special for your family.
And it’s doing all of that, with very little (or no) recognition or appreciation, on top of all the other sh*t you do on a daily basis.
So here’s to all you moms in the Christmas trenches.
Your kids have no clue how much thought, effort and time you have put into the past few weeks.
Neither do your husbands, really.
But I do.
Give yourself a pat on the back.
At some point down the road, your family will realize how much hard work you put into this time of year.
Well, maybe your sons won’t.
But eventually, your daughters will.
Take a minute to thank your mom for everything she did for you and your family when you were a kid.
And then, take some time in the next couple days to give yourself a break.
Get a pedicure. Take a nap. Sit on the couch and do absolutely nothing for a couple hours. Do something special for yourself leading up to Christmas.
You deserve it.
Because what you are able to accomplish and the memories you are creating for your family during the Christmas season are truly impressive.
And you are kicking some serious ass.
one of the nice things about Number Four being in on the Santa Secret now is she can officially be the elf on the shelf mover. That’s what I did when my oldest stopped believing
Thank you Susie! You said it right. My mom bought me a book last year titled ‘A Little Applause for Mrs Claus’ -all about how mom is the one who does everything for Christmas.
I hope you and your family have a beautiful Merry Christmas. You deserve it.
Natalie Rearick says
Thanks for the encouragement – I’ve been really frustrated lately that no one seems to notice that work nearly nonstop (I wish I were exaggerating!) to try and make sure my family has a good Christmas season.
Dear Susie: Like so many mothers, we may all be trying too hard to make those “perfect” memories, losing ourselves in the details and forgetting that the original mother in charge of the day, had just given birth in a stable. Her husband was there for her, but there were no presents or fancy meals to plan, or even relatives to please. All that mattered was that her newborn son, to her amazement, was the Son of God, the Messiah who came to redeem us all. Scaling back is okay, and may bring relief to you. Children remember the love that you give them, more than any material gift. Give them the gift of Grace. Merry Christmas ❤️✝️
Rebekah Petersen says
I needed this thanks❤️
Susie, I relate to alot of this. I used to get to make Christmas perfect and it never can be.I
I don’t really relate to some of the language you use. I think your essay would be more powerful without the bad words.
I hope your daughters will thank you one day when they realize the amount of hard work.
Jodi Oliver says
My goodness, can we stop the heroism/martyrdom/victimhood of women’s shadow work here, and impart some knowledge to our sons and husbands, instead of secretly being glad our daughters will someday know and appreciate our toil…..because have to toil too? This is nonsense, we’re handing on a tradition of overwork, exhaustion and resentment. Men can do as much for Christmas as women. My 8 and 10 year old sons are decorating the tree, they know how to shop and wrap gifts, my husband is getting the groceries, he cooks the meal, he can shop for gifts, buy tickets to holiday events, and shuttle kids around as well as I can. We can all contribute to a happy holiday. Let’s break this “tradition” of women’s sacrifice and make the season’s celebratory contributions available to all.