December 21, 2015 | No comments yet | Holiday/Seasonal, Humor, Me Time

4 Unnecessary Holiday Traditions

It’s Christmas week! I love the holidays. The time in between Thanksgiving and New Years is a special time of year for many. My family has holiday traditions that involve parties, decking the halls, baking (or like me, buying and eating) cookies, and gift giving.

I even love hosting both Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve dinners for my extended family. I get to select the menu, tell people when to show up, and organize the grab bag, while not having to drive my kids all around town.

But there are four holiday traditions that I really could do without.

1. A White Christmas. I hesitate even writing this for fear of jinxing it, but the East Coast / Mid West has been having one of the warmest and driest autumns on record. We’ve been able to enjoy all sorts of seasonal activities, driven our cars without deicing, and left the house wearing a fashionable light jacket, without shoveling the walk. It reminds me of my pre-kid carefree years living in Los Angeles, wherein every Christmas was dry and bright.

There was frost this morning on the grass as my son and I waited for the bus. It was white and just as pretty as snow. And then it burned anyway in the bright morning sunshine. That’s all we need: morning frost, but no snow. For all you snow boarders and skiers, Winter Is Coming. You still have January, February, and March to look forward to, but let us have a sunny, dry 60-degree December.

2. The Elf on the Shelf. Everyone just needs to calm down with this crazy business: the poses, the rules for not touching it, and the photos on Facebook. If I see another photo of the elf with positioned with a naked doll, I’m going to seriously lose it. I know that I’ve partaken in this, but not next year. It’s just another chore for me to remember to do at night, which has no effect on disciplining my children. I thought it was cute for two years, but he has worn out his welcome in my home.

What really ruined it for me was when my children told me about an “elf present,” which other kids in their classes were getting after Thanksgiving break. Really? Don’t your kids get enough presents during the holidays? Do we really need to start giving our kids elf presents when it first appears from the North Pole? I think we should all put them away and stop torturing ourselves. We all have enough to do. And I just saw commercials for a reindeer elf on the shelf pet. No way kiddos – not in my house.

Next year, my elf is just going to stay tucked safely in his drawer in my bedroom, where I store him along with my son’s lost teeth (and other items that I won’t mention by name in case my mom reads this article). Hopefully, my kids will never find that drawer that destroys all childhood innocence. Hmm… should probably find a safer place for all those things. I have 12 months to think of a reason to explain his lack of reappearance. Maybe my kids are so well behaved that they don’t need him anymore? No, I can’t tell that lie.

3. Holiday Greeting Cards, or at the least, the photo place around the holidays. I do love sending my cards, reconnecting with old friends, and seeing everyone’s kids getting one year older. But I also understand if you don’t partake or toss them in the trash. You see photos of my family all year long on Facebook nowadays, so you don’t need one of me on your fridge.

Next year, I’m having my family photos done earlier in the fall sometime and skipping the crowds at the typical places like Picture People or Portrait Innovations. Both boasted excessive wait times and no envelopes for the cards, which aren’t a standard size by the way.

Relatedly, I’m no longer going to the post office in December. If I need to send a gift, I’m using Amazon and shipping direct to the recipient. If I need stamps, I’m buying them with my groceries. No more waiting in those lines that are miles deep with only one teller open.

4. Holiday Weight Gain. I’m not saying that I’m going to eat or drink less or exercise more. I’m just not gaining the holiday pounds this year. Is that too much to ask? Maybe I’ll just avoid the scale until we’re safely into January.

Hope you have a very happy holiday season with your family.


–Carissa Howard, My Misadventures in Mothering, Funny Mommy Blog series

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