Holiday Stress: A December Tradition

A photo posted by Hmv (@hmvlife) on

Oh Christmas stress, oh Christmas stress! How stressy stressful can you be??

Happy Decembertime everyone! It's that time of year when everything is magical and Christmas carols play in your head all day long and no one freaks out and everythingisfine! Right?!


There are so many beautiful posts about the serenity of this season right now. But sorry, this is not this one. Here's a little walk into the mind of hmv right now. Warning: I'M FREAKING OUT.

5:00am Henry wakes up. I bring him to bed.

5:15 I'm going over my list of presents and trying to remember if we have anything for Jake's sister yet. Maybe Olivia can make something? Can her daycare lady teach her to crochet in 1 day?

5:40 Go to sleep, damnit!

6:30 Eff it, I'll get up!

6:47 Take "shower" (standing in shower thinking about everything I need to do today)

7:00 Get kids ready. Relent. Let kids dress themselves in plaids, stripes, and last night's pajama pants.

8:00 Yell at everything until it gets out the door and into the car.

8:05 Feel bad about yelling. Where is the yuletide spirit around here? Resolve to not yell any more ever again.

8:15 Roll into work. Open inbox. "You have...18,437 unread emails!"

8:30 Try to remember that thing Olivia suddenly got fixated on. Princess kittens? Hedgehog underwear? A real unicorn with a real gold horn named Carol. Hop onto Amazon and quickly purchase them all.

Eat breakfast.


Listen to my Holiday station on Pandora. See? I'm in the holiday spirit! I did it!

Recall that project that I'm running behind on. Open it up. Do a little . . DING! "You have....314 new emails."

12:00 Go to the gym? Scrap that.

12:04 Run to the mall. Shop my face off. WOO! DOING ALL THE THINGS!!!

1:00 Rush back to work.

Eat lunch.


Try to ignore the running mental to-do list scrolling through my head like an oppressive credit reel to a movie you've seen like a hundred times that won't end even after they've listed the 2nd Assistant Cinematographer, all the extras, their cousins, and every inanimate object in the entire film.

What was I saying? Oh yes...

5:00 Rush out of work. Rush to daycare. Retrieve children. Pause momentarily to adore the Christmas art that the children have created that day, specially, just for me. With red crayons, because that's your favorite color, Mommy! Oh, my. These kids really are so sweet, how luck are we? How great is this daycare to drum up all these holiday activities?  ...sigh...

Oops! Got to go! Who wants to help me pick out a present for Daddy?? Yay!

5:30 Stuck in traffic.

5:45 Still stuck.


5:51 Park. Get out of car. Get Hank out. Get Lil O out. Grab purse. Grab children. Get inside. Shop. Pull things out of the kids' hands and put them back on shelves.

5:56 "Mommy, why don't you ever buy ME anything?!" Waaaa! Tantrum!

6:01 Buy the child juice. Make the child drink the juice like Sally Field did to Julia Roberts in Steel Magnolias. (Please tell me you get that reference and we are best friends for life)

6:10 Do everything in reverse. Get back home. Fall face first onto the couch.

6:12 Hide Daddy's gift. Remind the child that we are hiding Daddy's gift, a gift that she no longer gives two hoots about because it isn't for her!

6:15 Give heartwarming speech about Christmas, and how it's about giving AND receiving, and lots of kids don't even get to have gifts, and we should all be so thankful for our family and house and remember that we love each other, it doesn't matter if we get gifts or not, we always love each other.

At this point, although she is listening, she is also looking back with a very blank stare. She is, after all, only four years old. She doesn't grasp the nuances of a gift-giving holiday and the spirit of the season and baby Jesus and all that. Plus she has the blood sugar level of a Type 1 diabetic bride.

There will be more time to talk about these important things. We will have more Christmases. For now we can just focus on one thing: what's for dinner?