Mom Confessional: My Merry Manifesto for the Holidays

Mom Confessional: My Merry Manifesto for the Holidays

Here’s one determined mom’s plan to make this holiday one for the ages.


By: Katrina Simeck

As I prepare to flip the calendar page, it hits me:

It’s about to be the most wonderful — scratch that — most chaotic time of the year.

Fall ushers in a schedule of holidays that turns daily life into a giant checklist and can leave me wondering where I stashed the joy. This year, however, I will tackle the holidays with gusto, using tried and true tactics. I may have a mint mocha permanently attached to my hand, but I will be on a mission!

Here is my merry manifesto.

I Will Bake
I firmly believe that any holiday is better with butter, sugar and chocolate. I will bake to my heart’s content and will enjoy every last crumb. Instead of trying to be the mom who can master every type of holiday cookie, I’ll choose one signature recipe that will be my go-to for parties and potlucks. I’ll stock up on key ingredients early in the season to avoid having to strong-arm someone in the baking aisle.

I will not even attempt cut-out sugar cookies. Sanity saved.

I Will Barter
If you will wrap for me, I will bake for you. I’ve accepted that I’m not amazing at every holiday task and have learned to capitalize on my strengths and outsource my weaknesses. This year, I’m making a list of my least favourite holiday activities and figuring out how I can accomplish them in trade.

I will not be above bribing my children to lick the envelopes for our holiday cards.

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I Will Decorate with Simplicity
There is a house nearby that goes all out during the holidays. Starting in late October, they are using the majority of the town’s resources to power the lights and light-up figures that adorn their lawn.

As much as I admire the fruits of my labour, I’ve accepted the fact that it’s just not “me.” I’ll allow myself to embrace merry minimalism instead — a few twinkling lights, some candles and maybe a wreath or two.

I Will Make a List and Work the List
I’ll probably check it twice, just for good measure. Seasonal stability can be established by breaking things into manageable tasks. A cute holiday notebook will make it even more festive. That same notebook will hold wish lists, reminders and addresses for cards. Note to self: add an envelope for receipts.

I Will Shop in My Pajamas
Not in public of course, but it will happen at my computer. Shop online, shop early and don’t hesitate — the best deals are often only a click away (and sell out fast!). Also, whenever possible, I will ship directly to my intended recipients. Thankfully, we’ve all realized that happy mail (even if it’s early) is better than making several trips to the post office!

I Will Play Holiday Music. Loudly, Shamelessly and Often
I make no apologies for my love of a festive tune. There will be jingles and bells and sounds of choirs echoing throughout my home. Don’t you find that it’s difficult to be cranky when you’re crooning about a cute snowman? Me too. I may even try to convince some friends to go carolling with me.

The neighbours have been warned.

Lastly, I resolve to enjoy the heck out of the season, as it truly is magical. I will enjoy this season. I will.



Katrina is a single working mom on a quest to find a balance (or at least a little bit of Zen) between work and play. By day, she's in business development for a cosmetics company; by night, she channels her creative energy into writing, crafting and photography. Find her writing at Figuring Out 40. She also drinks a lot of coffee.

Read all the pieces of our ongoing series of Mom Confessionals.

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