Holidays are Here


Photo by Simon Maage on Unsplash

Once the sugar rush from Halloween candy is over, it’s holiday time, again.


Holidays can be hard as an ADHD mom for a few reasons:


2) I sometimes (read ALWAYS) over schedule.  This leads to family members who are over-stimulated with no breaks to just “be.”

3) I don’t plan enough giving to those less fortunate.  In past years it’s been about giving to our own personal circle of family and friends.  This creates what to buy, budget and wrapping drama.  I want to pare it down and concentrate on those in need.

4) I don’t prioritize what I WANT TO FEEL during the holiday season.  I’ll explain this towards the end of the post.


To combat my weaknesses, we’re doing things a bit differently this year.  Maybe you’ll like the ideas here.  If not, you’ll get some “holiday don’ts.”


I hope my list encourages you to think differently about what’s most important for your family this holiday season.

1. Thanksgiving Vacation


Thanksgiving Dinner is out.  Literally, we’re going away for the week of Thanksgiving!  Our best friends in the world moved to Texas this past summer.  We were bummed but excited for them.  Before they left we made a pact to see them for Thanksgiving and it’s happening!  We’ll be gone for the entire week.  Plans include lounging at their pool, checking out Sea World on Thanksgiving Day and visiting Austin for a night with 2 couples and all 5 of our children.  We’re traveling from Monday to Monday to avoid airport drama.  I need to pay my substitute teacher in David Yurman bracelets for agreeing to take my job.


THE TEXAS LONG-HORN.  I couldn’t resist.


Photo by Benjamin Bousquet on Unsplash



And, am I sad about no big turkey dinner with extended family?  Nope.  I’m not a great cook and I don’t love turkey. I may miss making my pumpkin flan, maybe. . . But traveling takes a lot of pressure and guilt (real or imagined) off of us.  Thanksgiving is now a vacation instead of work.  And having my children be with friends they enjoy matters, too.  This is the first year we’ll spend Thanksgiving with other children, not just beloved parents and aunts and uncles.


Photo by Robert Collins on Unsplash

2. December’s Family Calendar


I have a monthly calendar meeting with myself the first week of each month to prepare for the following one.  I synthesize school calendars, 3 jobs worth of work calendars, sports, social stuff and extended family invites into one dry-erase orchestra on my fridge.  I have a post about it here.

For December’s family calendar I schedule one holiday event per week (no more than 4 for the month) and one takes place over winter vacation.  I use Washington Parent Magazine, to check out new events for families in our area.  Just google kids events plus your city’s name to plan fun holiday outings.  There are two local light shows we always attend. They’re guaranteed to bring holiday cheer.  One is with our neighbors.  The other is with my in-laws.  We pick 2 more and that’s IT!

Photo by Catherine Zaidova on Unsplash


3. Less is More

December’s gift-giving motto:  less is more.  Our children get three gifts each.  There is a total of nine presents under the tree.  I haven’t decided if I’ll have my younger two believe in Santa, or not. My older one knows the truth, now.  There is another post about Santa (or Hannukah Harry) forthcoming.  It was always my favorite and most magical time of the year as a child.  The Santa stuff is complicated for me.


Photo by Nathan Lemon on Unsplash

4. No TV for Winter Break.

Wow, that is scary to write.  I’m not a TV watcher but my husband and son are avid viewers.  It helps them calm down and de-stress.  I’m hoping we can replace it with winter stay-cation events around D.C.  Also, I’d like to host some friends and volunteer over the break.  I need to see how we operate without Amazon Prime and Netflix.  Dora and my daughter are on a first-name basis.  I know, in my heart, we need this break.  Even if it breaks me.


5. Accountability

My followers are holding me accountable for this list!  I’ll let you know how the holidays go in January. If all else fails–I’m taking a 20-second hug from anyone who’s willing to give it!  I wish for peace and calm to all ADHD parents and families during the holidays.


Holiday Feelings.


For the entire holiday season, I want to feel warmth, calm, the closeness of family, friends, and LOVE.    For us, that means simplifying decorations, gifts, how many events we host and attend, and how much money we spend over the holidays.  To give you a mental picture:  imagine Nicolas Cage in “Family Man.”  Not the wealthy businessman, but the middle-class father who married the love of his life.

Photo by Brigitte Tohm on Unsplash

If you’re doing something different this year, let me know in the comments.  Is it difficult to re-think traditions?  Or can you create new ones by combining them with what you’ve always loved?





  1. Nina

    I have a lot to say about children and Santa and how their love for Santa can be molded into a love of God — not saying I am wildly religious – just saying…. But that will be for a response to a future blog.
    So, this response is for the parents/grandparents who cannot get a handle on the changes that our children wish to make for themselves and their families. It is simply this: combating their ideas for change and redirection only puts a gapping hole in the relationship. When my daughter first talked of change; I swallowed hard and tried to keep mostly quiet. Luckily, I have a very forward-thinking husband who has helped because of his “acceptance” skills of children. We must not only accept their wants and desires, but we must help them reach these changed goals for the holidays every year. Who wants everyone sitting around the Tgiving table unhappy with piles of dishes left for clean-up in the sink for really 30 minutes of too much eating???!! I have some fine-dining restaurant friends; they tell me that as they are serving Tgiving meals to the patrons/families, many times, no one is talking, people are sulking and they go to the kitchen in wonderment about how these people can spend a holiday in this fashion. Is this togetherness? Stuffing our adult kids around the table, something we older folks have loved and for which we have worked hard all our lives is not fair to our kids and grandkids. Let the kids go and realize that your time together either before or after a holiday they may choose to be away can be more satisfying when they are HAPPY. That is my take as a mother who lives to see her daughters and loves to see her grand babies, but has realized that, as Colely says, “less can be better!!”


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