A few years ago, I had hired a babysitter so I could go Christmas shopping without kids tugging at my sweater begging for cocoa while I shopped. And it was nice and peaceful, but after a few hours, I realized that Christmas planning was stealing me away from Christmas with my family. I had sent my kids off with my husband so I could decorate the house in peace. And I had hired a babysitter so I could go to the Christmas tree lighting in peace. And I had sent my kids to my mom’s house so I could do some baking in peace. And all that peace brought me a lot of quiet and very little time with my family.
Don’t get me wrong: I’ll almost certainly hire a babysitter to help me while I shop this year (shopping with a one-year-old is a nightmare as you moms of toddlers can certainly attest), I’m also going to make sure I reserve time every day during the holidays to just be with my family and even more, I’m letting my six-year-old and my five-year-old help with the baking, the decorating and the shopping. I know there’s a good chance my decorations won’t be Pottery Barn perfect and my Christmas cookies won’t be elegantly decorated, but I also know that the time spent together will be cherished. By all of us.