The Truth About the Holidays - My normal

The Truth About the Holidays - My normal

How many of you find yourself in a "holi-daze" this time of year? Planning, prepping, inevitably feeling like you're failing at something?! Well me too. Meeeeee too.
This year was unlike any other as it was our busiest month in MST history (YAY & THANK YOU EVERYONE). We had (& still have) events, huge sales & crazy restocks so to say our work life was a little hectic is an understatement. Then add traveling out of town for Thanksgiving followed by 35 people at your house the next day for a family party and your house looks like a slightly better version of a college frat house? What to do ... 
Well I did what any other slightly neurotic, wanna-be overachieving & secretly loves having last minute chaos, mom would do. I went to the hardware store, bought paint, and painted my dining room. Yes, you read that right. Because all the time I didn't have to get through my life without a bottle of wine somehow needed to include remodeling my dining room. Insert "home owner guilt". And "home owner guilt" loves to pop her ugly head out RIGHT before parties. Why haven't I placed more time making my house look nice over the last 5yrs I've lived here? Why have I been so content with blackout paper blinds on my windows because the idea of buying & hanging window treatments is daunting? Well okay ... we just won't let anyone in our bedroom, but the dining room, yep we can handle that! 
So check. I did it. I painted my dining room, got a new light fixture, rug & mirror and took a deep breath of pride, of course after I commented on how we "obviously still need a new table, to hang pictures and to remove that hideous shelf I've hated since I met my husband", but I did it. My dining room looked great! And then there was the rest of my house... food remainders & unknown substances spread on tables, stained & eaten rugs (I THINK our furry child can take credit for those, but can't guarantee it), and a black hole under my couch that consisted of lucky charms, toy cars, dog hair & a dried up strawberry stuck ... I mean STUCK to our floor! (insert gag) WHY?! Well you can imagine the angry, frantic, stressed person who yelled at her kids about 15,000 times as they took out item after item that I put away. Insert "mom guilt". And she is just about the worst type of guilt. Why haven't I been spending the last few days enjoying moments with my kids instead of scrambling to finish work & redo my dining room? Being a mom is WAY more important right? Well right, that is until I notice the perfectly placed holiday decoration ripped apart in the hallway. "Mom guilt" likes to check in like every hour on the hour until something else sets you off! I know you know how that one goes. 
Alright finished. Semi-cleaned, decorated house with kids still in tact and just slightly bouncing off the walls. Cue Thanksgiving. We hopped in the car & drove to my favorite place, Wisconsin. My mom did everything. Had every detail planned & did it without so much as 1 slightly raised voice about "checking the sides" with a roll of the eyes like everyone should have been reading her mind. My sister and I are versions of her. We appreciate her chaos & stress. Sometimes we don't handle it or hide it and are bat$hit crazy, but I believe it is because we care. Well anyways she handled this holiday like a PROFESSIONAL. This was our first family holiday since my nanna, her mother, passed. It was emotional. We were sad. I know my mom made it extra special for everyone because of this. She is a rockstar. And then the "daughter guilt" creeps in. My mom, sister & aunt did all of this & brought dishes to pass and were ready to have fun, meanwhile I was so happy that I didn't need to lift a finger, that I literally didn't lift a finger. I had dark circles under my eyes, kids with unbrushed hair, and a certain haze I was walking through thinking about the amount of work I still needed to do at home. Why didn't I put more effort into this holiday? Why didn't I make it special for anyone? Thank goodness my family is freaking amazing & let my "daughter guilt" subside. 
And check. Thanksgiving. Man I wish I had taken left overs home. Cue a night of preparing our shop for Black Friday & eating a sub-par grilled cheese to satisfy my hunger while dreaming of gravy. Shop is ready. C&C are ready for the wonderful chaos that is about to arise! And we wake up & we did it! Website is working, people are happy & we can take a sigh of relief. Holy crap I'm tired. Insert nap. Thank goodness for my mother-in-law who took the brunt of my kids while I got an hour of sleep and my husband ran last minute errands. Alright it's 12:00, omg it's 12:00! People are coming in 3hrs and I look like a disaster and I haven't finished setting tables or baking. (Those of you wondering what dinner looked like? Well it looked like Italian food ordered in ... thank goodness)! Anyways, I pride myself on my baking skills I learned from my mom & nanna. I make a mean dessert! I never, I repeat NEVER buy desserts from the store. It just feels like I'm cheating. Well insert "party host guilt". I waved my white flag and surrendered. Sent my husband to the store to get desserts. Thankfully he showed up with a Portillos chocolate cake (which is HEAVENLY if you haven't tried it) and some goodies from a bakery. Okay fine. Good enough ... I suppose, but I will never, I repeat NEVER let this happen again. Somehow 2.5hrs passed and I'm not showered and I'm freaking the F out. (For your eyes I will censor my real words, but I have an admitted potty mouth!) Ok texted Colleen S and Colleen L in a panic! They instructed me to "get in the shower NOW, you can do it." Okay I did it. I'm ready. People are arriving. Bring out the wine. I'm ready. Chaos & family fun filled my house and I ended the night finding my home address stamped ALL OVER 3 of my walls. Yes. Out of the tons of children at my house, it was my own. Never had a doubt in my mind especially after I asked and he said "yes I did that". Mmmmm Hmmmm. Bright side? It wasn't the newly painted wall in the dining room. Guess I just need to paint the rest of the house now too. Anyways while our last guests stayed due to the fact that I pressure people into hanging out with me my husband started to clean up. And there came "wife guilt". Should I be upstairs helping him? Ehhh nah. Get out of here "wife guilt". Ain't nobody got time for that! 
So we did it. We got through these holi-daze with a little "post holiday guilt" for saying that we "got through it". I'll do better next year. I will plan better, and prep more efficiently and .... let's be honest. No, no I won't. But I will remember what a wonderful time I had watching my kids play with their cousins, seeing generations of family sharing stories while laughing, and watching my little cousins paint my husbands toes. Memories were made & at the end of the day that is all that matters. It truly is a WONDERFUL LIFE and what better way to remember that than to go through tons of stress and then write a blog about it. 
If you're anything like me give yourself a break. Be proud of what you are doing instead of what you should be doing. That's what I tell myself over and over again when my "give yourself a break guilt" comes in. But truly I'm totally going to enjoy the next holi-daze with welcome arms because I am so grateful for who I share them with and the memories we make. 
Would love to hear a little bit about your holi-daze in the comments! Anyone like me here? We should arrange a post-holi-daze conference to all brush each other's hair, give each other compliments & pat each other on the back! xoxo CB
Colleen Berkowitz

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