1. Resources
  2. /
  3. Parenting
  4. /
  5. Holidays & seasons

9 Secrets for Having a Happy Holiday Season

Marjorie Bogart
Nov. 6, 2013

One mom shares her tips for having a holly jolly holiday, as part of the Care.com Interview Series.

Shopping and cooking and decorating, oh my! The list of holiday activities and chores goes on and on until before you know it, it's the middle of January and you spent the last two months of your life in a permanent bad mood.

Dude Mom blogger Amanda Rodriguez reveals her tried-and-true tips for actually enjoying yourself this holiday season -- and why you might need to make a trip to Costco.

  1. Capture the Moment
    Instead of being the designated photographer, step in front of the lens for a change. As great as pictures of the kids are, make sure you get yourself in there too. Rodriguez insists, "this is that one time per year that I make it a point to capture my face with my Dudes and the rest of our family members."

  2. Don't Expect Too Much
    We dress our littlest ones in bowties and dresses, promise them presents and then expect them to act like perfect angels. Of course they're going to act out! "Don't be surprised when they rebel with an exhaustion induced tantrum, or say that Grandma's breathe smells, really, really, really bad when she is leaving sloppy kisses all over their faces." Rodriguez understands, "Kids are kids and they are going to be kids even on holidays."

  3. Spend Time Alone
    Don't be afraid to take some 'me time'. Avoid getting burnt out around the holidays by taking time for yourself. "I go out on Black Friday alone," Rodriguez explains, "so no one sees that I really just get a coffee and watch the craziness from a bench because I finished all of my holiday shopping before Halloween."

  4. Skip the Drama
    Leave family feuds at the door! Let the holidays be a time when everyone gets along -- even if it's just for a day. Rodriguez makes a point to "surround myself with loved ones; family and friends who get that it's about being together and enjoying each other's company. Everything else is secondary."

  5. Get Out of the Kitchen
    Holidays often revolve around the dining room table, but there's no rule that says you have to slave over the stove all day to make the meal. After a burnt turkey mishap, Rodriguez decided to leave the cooking to the experts. "I just show up with a pie I buy at Costco and everyone is happy!"

  6. Embrace the Mess
    Don't panic when your house is overflowing with boxes, wrapping paper and bows. A little bit of mess is inevitable. When it comes to her house, Rodriguez doesn't sweat the small stuff. "I don't worry about how clean my house is during the holidays (or ever really); I don't fret over the perfect gifts or the best decor."

  7. Smile
    Don't let a Scrooge get to you. Rodriguez insists the best way to fight a 'bah humbug' is with a smile. "Even when you are this close to throat punching someone who is raining on your parade, just smile. It will either brighten the mood or confuse your adversary enough that you can escape to the eggnog. Either way it's a win for you!"

  8. Know Your Strengths
    No one can do it all, especially around the holiday season. The trick is to be realistic about what's actually doable. Rodriguez confirms, "Focus on what you can do well and don't worry about what you can't."

  9. Make it Sweet
    When all else fails, there's no better way to brighten up the holidays than with some sugary treats. What's Rodriguez's secret weapon? "Cookies, lots of homemade cookies!"

Amanda Rodriguez is the hilarious blogger behind Dude Mom, a blog where she writes about all things mom. After getting her own public fashion intervention, she now helps other moms get out of their yoga pants funk. She currently lives in Maryland with her husband and three little Dudes. You can find Rodriguez on Twitter and Facebook.

Check out even more holiday tips in our Care.com Interview Series: Holiday Survival Kit »

Photo used with permission by Amanda Rodriguez.

Leave a comment

Create a free account with Care.com and join our community today.

Related content

How much should you pay for a babysitter?