Last week, at a women’s holiday luncheon, we played a Family Feud type game. The question was, “What do women want for Christmas?” My first answer: a nap. Second response: a vacation.

My cousin texted me, “Hey, I need some ideas for your kiddos!” I replied, “Cages.” She said she found a nice bedazzled one for my daughter.

I’ve heard from three different friends that they threatened to throw out the tree. One included graphic descriptions of a wood chipper!

My kids know I’ve saved the receipts to anything I bought. So if their room isn’t clean enough to fit their presents, they go back!

Nature calls a lot more now-a-days just so I can lock the door and get some quiet! Sadly, it doesn’t work.

Two different room moms asked me to volunteer at the exact same time.

Eggnog sounds better and better, especially if it’s spiked!

If you’re anything like me, this season has you stressed out. And then stressed out because you’re stressed out and missing the fun. No matter what holiday you celebrate, this time of year brings with it class parties, gift buying, family get-togethers and vacations. Of course, we can’t forget the expectations – your kids’, your peers, and, most of all, your own.

Every year ends up in a flurry of activity so that I feel exhausted and lose the spirit in the chaos. This year, I’m taking an oath in hopes of taking some of the joy back. Maybe you’ll want to join me.

This holiday season of 2014, I solemnly pledge to cut myself some slack. If the kids need to zone out in front of a holiday movie with popcorn, candy canes, or duct tape so that I can steal some time, I will call it ‘cultural education’ and move on. If that time I steal ends up being for a bath and a coffee or a martini, that will be called ‘therapy’ and considered healthy. If my wrapping looks more like a three year’s work, it shall be hailed as ‘artistic expression’ and applauded. When everyone else brings freshly baked homemade treats to the party, my store-bought package of cookies will demonstrate my refusal to conform to feminine stereotypes. My kids’ will feast on international delicacies like Mac’n’Cheese Macoroni et Fromage. The apple my daughter stole from my plate this morning and the grape jelly my son licked off his sandwich will be a ‘balanced diet.’ And when Christmas seems to be slipping away from me, I will throw the kids in the car, throw the plans out the window, and go do something festive and fun!