Tis the season! Hope you hit the gourd running. (See what I did there).

So ladies, we need to talk. Step away from the Pinterest board, and put down the pumpkin spice, I promise it will be ok. Yeah, maybe take off the cornucopia hat, please. I just want to get this out there in the open: The holidays are stressful! The decorating, the shopping, the crafts, oh and don’t forget the obligatory jumping in fall leaves photo. What kind of a mom would I be without that? I know all of our pinterest boards are full to the brim with cute ideas, and you have about 57 different ideas for mason jar centerpieces to get through. (Let’s not even start about this year’s Christmas wreath theme) I just want to share my experience having kids and getting through the holidays, in one piece. Usually.

  1. Hydration: Any healthy mama will tell you hydration is key. Well, holiday hydration is just as important, and there are tons of good wine sales going on, so stock up and drink up. Oh and did I mention coffee?

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    My arsenal is ready. My counter tops were not.

    2. Sustenance: Those handmade mini tarts aren’t going to fill themselves. You need a load of sugar to keep that holiday cheer level at a consistent 10. Feeling grinchy? Grab a mini pumpkin pie and say “fall” three times. It’ll perk you right up.

I made 20 pies with this kid in her carrier.

I made 20 pies with this kid in her carrier.

3. Gear: Crafting and baking with kids is dangerous. Luckily one of my babies still drinks from the tap, so my survival kit contains a carrier, and a nursing bra. Preferably a carrier that’s easy to scrape gobs of flour and butter off of.  Other necessary gear: a great pair of yoga pants and some comfy boots for last minute craft store runs.

4. Technology: You’re going to need high speed internet to load those holiday wreath tutorials at 2am. And when Pinterest is down, refer to section 1.

5. Game Plan: If you don’t have your 21-day brined turkey in the refrigerator by now, don’t panic. But please tell me you have your handmade acorn napkin rings ready and your holiday dinner playlist locked and loaded? Ornament placement diagram? Is your glitter color coded? What color is everyone wearing to go buy the Christmas Tree? Is your Black Friday route planned out yet?

Delegation is key, mama.

Delegation is key, mama.

6. Location: Where are you taking your matching pajama pictures? What fall leaf pile will you be jumping in? Having your most important locations picked out for planned candid moments will help save you tons of time. There’s no way this holiday thing can be done on a whim. 

 

If all of this is making you feel a bit like this: 

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I feel your pain. I run the race just like everyone else, every year. But this year I have decided to scale it down. I only get so many holiday seasons with my kids to set up traditions and memories before they’re off to create their own. I didn’t want to be the mom that is frazzled every year, and worried about a smudged snowman chalkboard, or broken acorn cookies. My focus this year is on minimizing the events, and maximizing the memories. I’m trying to let go of the reigns a little, and let my toddler help me bake. Even if it means the pies won’t be picture perfect, and flour will be on my ceiling. I want my girls to feel involved, and if that means putting that ornament on the wrong branch, I promise to let it be. I vow to not put a baby gate around the tree this year so that my bows don’t get touched, and I vow to let my kids eat the gingerbread house before it gets stale. Survival, depends on those we have around us. Our team. Nights in, nursing our little ones, making memories and messes sometimes recharge us enough to face the crowds and the credit card bills that come with the holidays.
The holidays are a time to share with our family and friends, and let them know how much they mean to us. A time to say how thankful we are for them, and how much joy they bring in our lives. Sometimes the sales, and the to-do-lists distract us from opportunities for sharing that holiday cheer. Now I’m not saying we should cut crafts and cookies out altogether, no way. But maybe taking the time to reflect on what those cookie making memories will mean for our kids years down the road. Cherish those moments, let a little glitter spill on your floor, and spend some time with those that matter the most. Happy holidays everyone!

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As a bonus because our Rumina readers are so sweet, I am sharing my family’s Pumpkin Pie Recipe. It’s about 60 years old, and really is amazing. 

Pumpkin Pie
1 3/4 cups pumpkin
2tbsp olive oil
3/4 cup granulated sugar (sometimes I use brown sugar)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp hot water
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
2 eggs
1 cup evaporated milk
1/3 cup orange juice

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cook pumpkin and olive oil in saucepan over medium heat for 10 minutes until water is cooked out and pumpkin is slightly dry and carmelized, stir constantly. Remove from heat. Mix spices and hot water together into a paste. Add spices, sugar and orange juice to hot pumpkin. Blend milk and eggs, temper eggs with small amount of hot pumpkin, then beat eggs into pumpkin until smooth. Pour into pastry lined pan, bake at 450 for 15 minutes; then reduce heat to 300 degrees and continue to bake about 45 minutes longer until pie is just set. Allow to cool and serve with copious amounts of whipped cream! Enjoy!

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