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Holidazed and Confused

'Tis the season to attempt to be superhuman, fail miserably and cry in your eggnog. (Let's not and say we did.) This week's post on Mom.me is a twelve-step survival guide for the month of December.

1. Avoid Pinterest at all costs — I can't. I mean, I can't even. I mean, it's like ... you know? I get so panicked looking at perfectly coiffed holiday decorations that I just want to not hang holiday decorations. Which is convenient because I don't. And then I feel guilty because I grew up in a Christmas decoration explosion with Christmas lights around the windows and the whole nine. Guilt. Guilt. Guilty. Guiltness. So I stay away. I stay away from anything festive, beautiful, holiday-y, including websites that make me feel like a failure, people who make me feel like a failure, people in general and all websites. (Just kidding. I love people. And websites.)

RELATED: How to Handle Holiday Stress

2. Hire out the kids — This is something I too often forget and is such a win/win for everyone involved. My older kids have become extremely helpful and able-bodied in their old age and can do almost anything I can: laundry, dishes, sweeping. For every hour I spend trying to figure out how to get family glamour shots taken for the holiday card that I will get around to sending in December 2015, my kids could have already emptied the dishwasher and swept the hallway. WIN? WIN.

3. Do all your shopping yesterday — Wait. You mean, you haven't EVEN STARTED!?? Who ARE you? YOU ARE THE WORST! I AM ALSO THE WORST! I HAVEN'T STARTED EITHER! WHO STARTS BEFORE THE 17TH!?

4. Write a to-do list — Seriously, though. You HAVE to start writing a list. You have to. Because you keep forgetting everything and you don't have to forget everything—you just have to make a list. (That was the exact transcript of a text Hal recently sent me after I totally forgot Fable's doctor's appointment and realized I had lost track of outstanding checks owed to me that I really needed to not lose track of.) Read: I am writing this for myself at this point because I have absolutely no idea how to not be holidazed, not to mention how not to make bad puns like "holidazed."

This is the time in the program where I let go. I embrace the fact that I will never be that 'holiday mom' and I salute myself for being a mom during the holidays.

5. Go to bed an hour earlier — And drink one more cup of coffee in the morning.

6. Make peace with mediocrity — This time of year seems to bring out the best and/or worst in humans, which is frustrating and/or amazing and/or cryingcrazyamazing. Some of us are killer at being everyday types; others flourish with theme parties and theme months and get totally into the spirit. It's OK to be just OK this time of year. It just is. Come here, let's hug.

7. Make a lot of plans and then break (some of) them last minute — I was talking to a friend the other day about December festivities when I realized that I am very good at saying yes to everything and then canceling last minute because I overbooked/am way too tired/a million other reasons. And that's totally OK.

8. Let yourself go — Shaving your legs, brushing your hair and teeth ... these things take time. Valuable time you could be spending making garlands out of vintage tin men and/or doing something much more important than, you know, looking after yourself.

9. I'm totally kidding — Please take care of yourself. You are awesome.

10. Let it go — OK, so I'm going to get really serious now because I know you're probably a little stressed because every parent is a little stressed this time of year and if you're not stressed, well, then ... hi, you're my hero. December is the most stressful month for most people I know, be it because of financial strain (hi!), time being an absolute bitch (what's up!?) or juggling attempts to work while kids are off for a three-week break (hey, again!). Oh, and then there's travel, gifts, the buying and the making and the cooking and the cleaning and the decorating and the trying to maintain a cheery disposition for the kids who ARE SO EXCITED and HAPPY and feeling the holiday joy.

Every year, I start the month off being all UGH and WOMP and HOLIDAZE, AMIRITE, and then, around the 20th, become a Christmas/Hanukkah Elf. I blast Peter Paul and Mary and we play dreidel and go Christmas/Hanukkah caroling and we read "T'was the Night Before Christmas" as a family before putting on our own winter concert in the living room.

RELATED: Don't Let the Holidays Bust Your Budget

But before that (i.e. now) I just want to hide. And that's OK. This is the time in the program where I let go. I embrace the fact that I will never be that "holiday mom" and I salute myself for being a mom during the holidays.

My only advice for staying sane is to find your zen, take care of yourself, cut yourself some slack and realize that we're all doing what we can with what we have to thrive this time of year. One day at a time, one foot in front of the other, one party cancellation at a time.

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