Sometimes when I get home from a vacation, I end up needing a vacation from my vacation. And holiday celebrations sometimes feel the same way.
Preparing for house guests.
Grocery shopping and trying to find odd ingredients.
Cooking recipes I know my kids will never eat.
Stuffing my kids into fancy clothes.
Telling my kids more times than I can count to stop eating more candy.
Feeling overwhelmed and just not doing the right things to celebrate.
Hiding in my pantry drinking wine and eating chocolate chips.
That’s all supposed to be a holiday, right? Well, the last part sounds fun. And from experience, it is. I highly recommend having a walk-in pantry for this very purpose. But I digress, I’ve also experienced holidays where I start to release some of these unwritten expectations that I’ve somehow come to believe must be part of my own family’s holiday celebrations for Easter. Here are some of my ways to de-stress your Easter celebration.
- Establish How Your Family Recognizes This Celebration
Not how your parents celebrate.
Not how your neighbors celebrate.
Not how your college roommate celebrates.
How do you recognize and celebrate this holiday? Or rather, if things are not feeling right with holiday celebrations, how do you want to celebrate this holiday?
- How you will recognize religion on the holiday?
- What role will candy and gifts play?
- Do you want to be with family, host family or just be home with your immediate family?
Start with these questions with your parenting partner to establish how the holiday has meaning and importance and then go from there.
- Don’t Make Complicated Food
It is so tempting on holidays to try and impress with food. We get on Pinterest and hope to wow our families with complicated recipes that require ingredients we can’t find at our neighborhood grocery store. Why? I’m a food blogger and love cooking but I keep it simple for holidays. During holidays, I want to spend time with my family, really spend time with them, not just randomly participate from the kitchen. I want simple meals that allow me this time. For Easter, I make Crock-Pot Slow Cooker Ham and an easy Corn Flakes Cheesy Potato Casserole. Not fussy, not complicated, no weird ingredients and food that my kids will actually eat.
- Be Honest About Expectations When Hosting Overnight Guests
If hosting family or friends is part of how you like to recognize the holiday, follow my tips for hosting overnight guests. Be honest about expectations and take care of yourself during the process (wine in the pantry sort-of counts). Hosting guests can be really stressful and it can get expensive especially with a holiday meal so think through some of the logistical pieces to hosting. And when someone says, “Can I bring anything?” You promptly answer, “Yes,” and have a list of possible ideas.
- Put Your Phone Down and Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
I’m going to challenge you to do something this holiday, get off your phone. I’m serious. Keep it out if that is your sole camera to capture memories, but stay off Instagram and Facebook. Be present with your family during the day or take some time for yourself to relax in a way that doesn’t involve scrolling. At the end of the day, going on your favorite social media channel and share a picture and check out how everyone else celebrated, but don’t use it as a measure of your worth and how your family celebrates holidays.
- Create Your Own Traditions for the Holiday
One of the most beautiful pieces of holiday celebrations as parents is that we get to create our own traditions. Let go of anything you want and embrace what feels good for your family. You want to eat rainbow pancakes for breakfast, go to church in clothes that makes you happy and deliver flowers to the local nursing home and then spend the day at the park; that’s awesome. Pick traditions that feel good for your family. Maybe you love coloring eggs and going to hunts; maybe you absolutely hate the thought of those activities. The idea here is to first think about how you recognize how you celebrate the holiday and then figure out the traditions you would like to do with your children. It can be as simple as going to church, sitting on the couch with a cup of coffee with a Peep inside, and watching your kids eat boatloads of jellybeans. That’s what we will be doing.