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The Christmas Comedown

The Christmas Comedown, otherwise known as post holiday dysfunction at my home. I wrote about something similar last year and called that post The After Christmas Crash. I must not be alone in this aftermath effect of the hustle and bustle that leaves us feeling a bit like a deflated balloon after a party. Obviously, it is a reoccurring event that now I must find my way through each year.

Post Holiday Dysfunction

This is not a diagnosis in the DSM or even an actual medical term in any way. Its just my description of the feeling that comes after being hyped on Christmas cheer, chaos, and anxiety for weeks and then suddenly the crash happens. We are no longer amped up with this adrenaline, increased serotonin, or oxytocin that our bodies have produced to get us to Christmas day. The side effects of our bodies not producing the same amount of chemicals that our crazy Christmas countdown did leave us feeling in a slump.

The hustle bustle of the holiday season is what keeps us going. The days right before we are overstimulated and overwhelmed with all of our to-do lists. However, the days after, it’s almost like we are missing something. In my opinion, we are. We are lacking those stress responses that keep us energized enough to wrap 27 gifts in the early morning hours. We know longer have the alarm bells of moving elves, finding that last minute deal, or scheduling the seven Christmas visits we need to make.

Substitution or Satisfaction

As a mom, I know, there is always the next thing to start doing. Eventually, a new problem to solve will arise or a child will have something else for us to figure out. The slump of emptiness and unmotivated restlessness will fade away probably sooner than we realize. In the meantime, we are forced to find a way to either substitute the lack of endorphins or find a way to be satisfied with the slower pace.

Substitution

I will be the first to admit that relaxing and just allowing things to settle isn’t my strong suit. I wish it was. I’d love to be more like my husband who can find peace in a TV remote and a comfortable bed. For me, I’m looking for the next thing I need to do.

I don’t just relax very often. I feel restless, stagnant and pretty irritated when there is nothing to do. I can also admit that although I don’t want to get out, I want to not sit still. I don’t want to clean my house, but I want some tasks to do. I’m not sure that makes sense. However, I think that is me thinking that doing nothing is equal to laziness. I know there are many things I could do, but I am just looking to procrastinate those as I wait for the motivational push to actually get them done. That usually only comes with those stress chemicals our brains release when our back is against the wall.

Instead of relaxing into the moment, I overthink myself into this ball of stress and irritation. I find the fight instead of just allowing the battles won to be celebrated. I look for the substitution in order to get the fix of adrenaline and endorphins that my body became accustom to receiving during the stressful holiday season.

Satisfaction

Contentment is one of those things I long for, but to be honest, it also sounds boring. I want a lot, I expect a lot, and I do a lot to try to get what I want. However, I do want to learn to be present and just enjoy the now. I don’t want to plan out the next 5 years daily nor make lists of all the things I need to accomplish. I don’t want to plan for unlikely hypothetical situations or assume the worst. Hello anxiety. I want to be able to just be. No strings attached. Unfortunately, this is a skill that has been elusive to me for years.

I should be counting my blessings, celebrating my wins for this year, and enjoying some time where the kids all are happy and content playing with their new gifts and gadgets. How do I curtail this Christmas Comedown and post holiday dysfunction?

Combatting Christmas Comedown

You guessed it. My own concoction of how to combat this Christmas Comedown.

  • Take some time to do something for yourself.
    • Meditate
    • Buy yourself a gift
    • Read, write, or take a nap.
  • Enjoy time with family
  • Accomplish a to-do you’ve been putting off.
  • Get out of the house for fun instead of out of necessity.
  • Celebrate your wins.
  • Go on a date.
  • Exercise.
  • Meet up with a friend.
  • Have a dance party or scaryeoke.

The short and long of it is to do something fun both for yourself and with others. Enjoy your holiday successes or just celebrate that you survived another Christmas! Either way, it’s done and we have nearly a whole year before we have to be all Christmas Carol, the elf moving, Christmas magic making, PTO participating, merry and bright decking the halls Santa’s helpers again. Count your blessings. As always, we’ve got this! ☮️❤️😊~M

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Shaking Off the Scrooge

It’s Christmas! For some it’s all falalala and a partridge in a pear tree. However, for others it’s anxiety, insecurity, and mood swings that are on full display. You guessed it, I fall on the latter side of the spectrum. Even so, I’m shaking off my scrooge and trying to be all merry and bright.

100% THAT Grinch

Let’s be clear, I don’t have the answers. Its honestly a bit hypocritical for me to even write this post considering my own inner scrooge has been showing up more so here lately than I had anticipated. It’s Christmas eve and I slept until noon and still haven’t taken my non Christmas pajamas off or finished my last minute errands. Yes I’m a 100% that grinch today. However, I have a plan to shake off the scrooge so I’m going to share it and hope it may help someone else do the same.

Yes, I know, the Christmas lists aren’t getting shorter or cheaper. Nor will your house clean itself. The elf on the damn shelf is still a priority. The money isn’t growing on the Christmas tree. Additionally, auntie is still going to be continuing her diatribe on how you eat, parent, and/or your spouse. So we have every right to be the bah humbug b!tches we become. The question stands, how do we make Christmas magic without the mayhem?

Shaking Off the Scrooge

Shake it off. It’s easier said than done! That’s the damn truth! There are Christmas lists that are miles long and the shopping that is endless. Add schedule changes, traveling, anxiety, and the debts you’ll be paying off until next Christmas. Obviously, we can’t forget dear auntie Gertrude picking that moment to tell you exactly how many calories are in the chocolate cupcake just as you’re stuffing your face. It’s no wonder we are 100% that grinch come Christmas morning.

The Anti-Scrooge Assignment

  • Take time for yourself. Pause. Take a breath. Meditate. It will ALL get done and they will ALL be just as happy and excited as they are every other year.
  • Look at the good stuff you’ve done! The tree is probably up, right? You’ve bought gifts. You’re going to get them wrapped or just say Santa got caught in an icestorm so he doesn’t wrap when that happens! You’ve accomplished so much more than you’ve given yourself credit for.
  • Take your time and delegate out the projects you are working on. Older kids can help out. Your significant other is able to do some running. If your single mommin this Christmas then let door dash be the baby daddy and help with delivering last minute items!
  • Be flexible. You know your plan, but no one else really does. It’s most likely not going to work out according to what you thought. Its OK! Roll with it!
  • Have a drink! It’s Christmas! I am not saying get sloshed and say screw the rest of it, but you can relax!
  • Let those kids have your presence. They don’t expect Mrs. Claus as a mom! They expect their mom to be exactly the person you always are.
  • Make lists. Chunk it up. And get it DONE. Put a stop time on your preparation and whatever is left over is just that.
  • Eat. The. Damn. Cookies. I’m awful about getting so busy with stuff that I forget I need food. Hangry is grinchy. Diets are for new years NOT Christmas.
  • Debt is not how you want to start 2023. Don’t make magic out of money you don’t have. I have $22 to my name and a truck on its final leg. Guess what? I am not about to open a credit card for stocking stuffers and crap my kids won’t even like next year. I’ll be a bargain shopping baddie and coupon my way to payday. It’s not worth stressing out my future self for today’s wants.
  • Finally, have a Merry freaking Christmas! This the freaking season!!! Remember it’s your Christmas too! Don’t make about everyone else so much you forget you matter too.

Christmas Magic

I LOVE Christmas! I really do. I have fond memories growing up of beautiful decorations, presents galore, and family gatherings. I took for granted those days. I wish I had known then how much work it took to make Christmas magic. I probably would’ve been a hell of a lot nicer to my mom!

One day, you’ll be appreciated for making Christmas magic even amongst the struggles. They’ll remember these days fondly. All of the Christmas headaches will be worth their smiles and eyes lighting up. Don’t forget to breathe. Be present and don’t just give presents! Mommin’ ain’t easy, but you’ve got this! ☮️❤️😊~M

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A Heartbreaking Letter to Santa

Dad is the REAL Grinch

My heart is broken. I am angry and sad. Tonight, my daughter {#3 of my threefold, age 11} wrote her letter to Santa. She admitted she wants a lot for Christmas, but what she wanted most was to be able to see her dad. This shouldn’t be a request, a gift, or even a thought. You would assume that it would be an easy Christmas wish to grant. However, it’s not. This is because her dad, is the real Grinch.

The man she calls dad is not going to see her this Christmas or any of the three daughters that bear his name. It’s sad. It’s sad, because while he lives and breathes and walks this earth each day, he has chosen not to be a dad. The calls are rare, the visits are nonexistent, and the manipulation is heavy. Instead, drugs and toxic cycles of abuse and manipulation are his legacy.

Snapshots of Dad

The man she knows as dad chose drugs over being a parent. He chose his own selfish desires over being a dad. He chose a life that has no place for children and no room for a relationship with them. Its sad. Tragic and heartbreaking. My 11 year old wants a dad that he cannot be for her or her sisters. She compares him to the grinch. Bad on the outside, but deep down he is good. However, no matter how much we struggle even in “recovery” he refuses to be a participant in parenting.

A year ago he had money to spare from his 100k  inheritance and sat unemployed. He smirked as he bought a new motorcycle, drums, camera, phone, computer and the list goes on.He went on vacation and to concerts. He bought drugs and partied regularly. Meanwhile, I struggled to pay our rent and buy Christmas for my threefold.

6 months ago, he had already pawned everything he owned. The one thing he had left was the car that he traded his 2022 Harley in for. That car became his home.
This man who had physically, emotionally and financially abused mythreefold and I called ME for help and because I wanted to be better, I helped. I checked him into rehab. Drove him to the facility and even bought him the things he needed. I housed his belongings and kept his friends updated. I had divorced him, moved on with my life, but still tried for my threefold.

After Rehab, I got him into a sober living facility. A week in and he left. He showed up at my door and demanded his belongings. I told him we were done. I stood strong as he towered over me in my own yard. I called the police and he left.

All of this followed by a week of hell and we were scared as he sat stranded without gas money just a few miles from our home. Finally, he was rescued by a friend and he left town. He had vanished 500 miles away to live with his younger brother on the opposite side of the state.

Wish Ungranted

Months went by and we hadn’t heard from them. Last month, he began communicating with #3, the only one that still has affection for him. The one that still wants to believe his lies and sees hope in his darkness. The one that sees the good inside the grinch. I wish I could fix the bad, but I can’t. Mom is not made of magic.

Now, this. A letter to Santa. After 28 weeks of combined trauma care and crisis intervention for my youngest two daughters. I work my life away to provide the life we have. Up to 50 hours per week, side hustles, and resourcefulness. I don’t receive financial support from the government, nor do i get support from him. This is my hard work, blood, sweat and tears. Its that of the man that stepped up. This is 50k in medical debt, scrounging for grocery and bill money, a vehicle with a blown engine and prayers for a Christmas miracle that includes gifts under our tree. This. A gift I can’t give. The Christmas wish I won’t be granting. Although she understands, she doesn’t see how much I want to give her the dad she needs him to be, not the grinch he chose to be.

Per the request of readers & followers of My Threefold donations for My Threefold can be made via cash app $mythreefold or venmo @my3threefold. ☮️❤️😊~M

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After Christmas Crash

The ‘I’m over it’ face. The one that also tells my threefold to mind their mouths, momma ain’t in a playin mood. 😂

You are on a high during Christmas, I am anyway. My existence is fueled by caffeine, cuss words, the chaotic to-do lists, cookies, and that down home country cooking! Very little sleep, glitter everywhere and presents piled high. Anticipation is teeming throughout the house. You start getting bribes and promises that are only made to pave the way to the present pile. It’s exciting. It’s stressful. It’s worth it.

Then the crash comes promptly on 12/26. The day you thought would be a day where you could bask in your Christmas contentment instead becomes the day you have the Christmas comedown and crash. I’m suddenly drained as I’m no longer running off of the Christmas chaos and the need to tend to every stocking stuffer and the mad rush to finish strong! The fatigue hits like a ton of bricks yet still I try to push through. The wave of emotions of either failure or accomplishment come on strong. Suddenly I feel as if I ran a never-ending marathon for a month, made everything as good as it could be. I checked every list, twice, but somehow I didn’t win the love and appreciation I thought I would.

I’m happy that Defcon Four got everything they asked for {even if it didn’t all arrive in time for the grand finale} and that for the most part everyone seems happy with their newly procured presents. I’m left with the mess, to be a chauffeur as everyone spends their newly obtained fortune by shopping, and to try to recover my own financial security from my over extravagant spending.

The day after comes and I’m left without much of an agenda and too much time to over analyze every misstep along the way. I overthink every single reaction and the many ways I could’ve improved on the process to avoid the mishaps, lower my stress, and made my life easier and their Christmas better. I get a little bitter and self-loathing, which isn’t a good look. I try to isolate to avoid any issues that my edgy, irritability may spark. I fail, with gusto, because I pop off with even the slightest additional negative dilemma that is placed in my way.

‘I’m going to work on it’, I repeat in my head, as I try to make my rational thoughts take root. I meditate and focus on other tasks, but my energy feels off. It’s just the post Christmas crash and I’m unsure what the fix is to this problem. I’m not even sure if it’s common or if this is a bipolar thing. I’d like to excuse it either way, but at the end of the day I know im responsible for my every reaction, response, my attitude and my actions. I just lose sight of those facts. I hope you aren’t experiencing a Christmas crash! If you are or if you aren’t stay positive! You’ve got this! ☮️❤️😊~M

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A Little Christmas Magic

Happy Christmas Eve! Hope everyone is having an amazing Christmas so far and that you didn’t just get fuzzy socks and a coffee mug with a sarcastic saying on it! Even if you did though, it was well meaning I’m sure {even if not well executed} You might be the parent that sent $20 to school so that little Suzy could buy you something from the Christmas Shop Supporting Vegan Lunch Options. Come Christmas morning you unwrapped a plaque covered in gold foil printed with #1 mom or Best Dad Ever! You’re loved, and you really are #1! Even so maybe that $20 plaque money could’ve been better spent on a Target gift card or anything else. Yet this is when that old saying comes to mind ‘it’s the thought that counts!’ With kids, sometimes, it really is the thought that counts!

My defcon four did pretty damn good this year for mom! With a 17, 15, 13, and 10 year old things get a bit more interesting come Christmas. The handmade coupon books that were never redeemed {actually I think they each owe me a good bit of whine free chores!} The homemade Christmas ornaments that are in a box in the closet. The sweet letters about you being their hero. Those precious keepsakes are replaced with material things. Sometimes the material things are coffee cups {even when you don’t drink coffee} or fuzzy socks. Sometimes they are regifted decor from around the house, like what I received for the youngest of the defcon four crew tonight. Still I said thank you and gave her the beaming smile of approval for the thoughtfulness. She tried, and for me that’s what counts! The thought.

I’ve been a wreck for weeks as I scurried through trying to budget for Christmas without a mound of debt I couldn’t pay back and without phoning a family member for a loan. Somehow we managed to manifest some Christmas magic. We didn’t even procrastinate {as much} as we have in the past. The obstacles that were put in front of us were obliterated by our optimism and knowledge that it would work out. I still am sporting my fancy Christmas anxiety that’s reserved only for this time of year. Honestly though, I’ve never been more excited for Christmas as I am this year. I know that everyone got what was on their list, plus a few things.

I kept ‘Anxious Annie’ at bay for the most part {there were a few days where I took the bipolar express straight to mood swing station} and replaced her with inner ‘Resourceful Rhonda’ as I like to call her. Rhonda can scout out a deal like no other! Me and full price, we aren’t friends! If I’m going to buy my daughter half a shirt then so help me I’m paying half price for it! The big things this year which are on trend with every adolescent Christmas list-electronics. My #3 wants a tablet, 2 oldest want new iPads, one fancy laptop and the kitties sleeping in a cat tree! {I had to, sorry not sorry} Being a parent with four kids to appease with over $1000 Christmas wish lists each is a bit of a headache to say the least. I don’t know how we managed to accomplish such a financial hit but somehow it’s happening!

If ‘E’ wasn’t helping me, we wouldn’t have everything we have this year, but between his conjoined financial backing pooled with my own money, my resourcefulness, his good credit, and a bit of Christmas magic we are making this Christmas one for the record books! ‘E’ and I really stepped up this year to give defcon four the Christmas they deserve after this crazy chaotic year!

Now I have to go wrap this shit up! Literally! I have procrastinated this part long enough! I’m truly grateful for the many blessings we have and that we will all be together tomorrow! I hope you all having a very Merry Christmas! Stay Positive! You’ve Got This! ☮️❤️😊🎄~M