I don’t know about you, but when I reach the end of the holiday season, I feel like the marathon runner who collapses after crossing the finish line.


Every year I think I’ll do a better job of staying balanced, saying yes to the right things, and keeping the season simple. And it’s true: over time and with experience, I’ve learned a great deal about these things. But in reality, December’s magic-making of Christmas, birthdays, get-togethers, and hospitality falls on me. And I reach the end satisfied, but wiped out.

So how about you?

How did it go?

What was your best and worst?

It’s a question often asked around our dinner table after a day that pulled the family members in many different directions. A few friends and I use it to springboard catching up. As you look back over your work of the last month, ask yourself the same question. I plan to write my answers down and refer to them next year as I pull out the Christmas decorations. Being reminded of this December’s best and worst will help me as I begin to prepare for next December.

Tea Party Girl’s Best of December

I paid attention to my own advice. My hospitality table came in handy more than once. Often, at the last minute, I grabbed a hostess or teacher gift already wrapped and ready. I served tea and “little touches of something” to drop-in neighbors and friends with ease throughout December. And I used it for myself when needed. Even when the demands felt high, I could easily take a break. I nurtured my five senses in simple ways by playing beautiful music, lighting candles, brewing favorite looseleaf teas, and spending moments snuggled by the fire. Thanks to the advice of Semicolon, the children and I watched some great Christmas movies we never had before like Bing Crosby’s White Christmas and George C. Scott’s version of A Christmas Carol. By sprinkling simple Christmas moments, throughout the month with them we had a number of magical moments to cherish.

But motherhood is a two-edged sword. And it pierced deep this month as I realized…

Tea Party Girl’s Worst of December

This was the first year the children hung onto the Santa magic by a thread. Deep sigh. I think it snowballs (no pun intended) as the oldest learns “the truth”. It didn’t help that the six year old found some of the stocking stuffers during the carpet installation move. I found this reality incredibly sad. I also realized children cannot be satiated. No matter how much “magic” we created one day, they are always ready for more the next. It’s one of the great resources of childhood. But I still put too much pressure on myself to “make it happen” for them, end up depleted, and resent them for their childhood immaturity that doesn’t understand Mom’s limits. There’s still some lessons for us all to learn.

What was your best and worst? Feel free to add to the discussion below.