Holy balls, it’s December already?! Ya know what that means? The holidays are rapidly approaching, which can be super stressful for any single parent.
If you’re anything like me, thoughts about disappointing your child(ren) during the holidays start way before December 1st comes to town.
When you’re a single parent, no-where-near-rich, and living alone, holiday stress can turn what’s meant to be one of the happiest times of the year into one of the most depressing ones.
In addition to financial stress, there’s also the Ex Factor. Many single parents have a rotating visitation schedule that leaves them without their children during the holidays every other year.
That’s this year for me.
While I’ll have my son the night of Christmas, the idea of being alone on Christmas Eve and solemnly waking up Christmas morning without him buzzing around with excitement over what Santa brought him had me really bummed.
But then I remembered I had the power to turn my holiday frown upside down…
So I decided to start some new traditions with my son, hoping to shift some of the focus from presents(Can you say, “Money, Money Money, Mon-ey…Mon-ey!”) to the importance of family(Yey!) during the holidays.
I came up with this brilliant idea that we could build a Christmas tree out of Legos (because my son is obsessed with them) and string lights on it, instead of spending money on purchasing new ornaments and a tree.
We (but mostly me) worked on it all weekend and this was the result:
Pretty amazing right? It was a real pain in the ass, but was so worth it the way my son’s eyes lit up when we plugged in the lights – a memory that will last both of us a lifetime.
Buying presents for everyone? I decided to let myself off the hook when it came to trying to figure out how to buy gifts for everyone but my son this year. Instead, my gift will be inviting them all over for Christmas dinner where my boy and I will present them each with a handmade gift we worked on together – which I’m sure will mean more to them than any gift I could’ve stressed myself out spending money on.
And instead of sitting alone on Christmas Eve, I’m going to invite my new neighbors over to bake cookies and get drunk!
How could drunk baking go wrong?!
I guess my whole point is to remind each of you, no matter your financial situation or relationship status, that the holidays are what you make of them, and only you can decide what you want yours to be like.
At the end of the day, life and the holidays are about the joys you find in the little things.
Be grateful for what you have and make use of it in the best ways you can.
That’s where I think the magic of the holidays, and everyday, lies.