Follow along as Today’s Parent senior editor Tracy Chappell shares her refreshingly positive take on parenting her two young daughters. She’s been blogging her relatable experiences for our publication since 2005.
My gifts are finally all purchased (and mostly wrapped), and I’m feeling much more prepared for the festivities that will take over our lives any moment now. I’m excited. I love Christmas, and was having trouble getting into the spirit this year because I felt bogged down by a to-do list that I could never seem to find time to chisel away at. Usually I love the baking and the wrapping, and finding those perfect little things to give the people I love, but it all felt like a lot of work this year. I didn’t like that. It didn’t give me the time I usually have to devote to fostering the spirit of Christmas in my home — through decorating, and crafting, and devising sweet plans to give to those we love and those we don’t even know — and I really felt that absence this year. I’m taking steps to make the blend of my life work better in 2014, so I don’t feel I’m racing just to get through each day with sanity intact, too busy to focus on what matters most to me.
Read more: The ultimate holiday baking round-up>
I’m excited to spend the holidays with my beautiful girls and our families, having fun in the snow, playing games and cuddling up to watch movies and read books. I’m going to go to the movies. I’m going to enjoy some wine and giggles with my sisters and my girlfriends. I’m going to play cards with my mom. I’m going to have a couple of sleep-in days. All simple things that I’ll finally have time for. My shoulders are un-hunching at the thought of it.
Thank you for another year of sharing in our adventures and misadventures in parenting. I hope you enjoy this little message from Avery, about what she really wants from Santa (how often do you get to do this for real?). I wish you all a beautiful holiday season doing what makes you happiest.