18 Things All Moms Do Once They Realize the Holidays Are Coming

Oh yeah I feel it in the air—do you? That electricity! That charge! That panic of moms everywhere suddenly realizing the holidays are about to kick their way into the backdoor, whether or not we’re prepared for them! So prepared for them we shall be! But first, we’re going to run around in a total frenzy trying to do everything at once making lots of inane executive decisions while our families watch us in slightly terrified silence.

1. Cover every surface of the home with a candle (real or battery-operated). Yell at your spouse for trying to light the ones with glitter in them, even though that’s what candles are for.

2. Look for last year’s holiday wish lists in order to get ahead of the shopping while knowing full well that even if you do miraculously find them, you’re going to have to start from scratch again, anyway.

3. Crave scarves more than a wandering man lost in the desert for days craves water.

4. Make soup, even if it’s still 70 degrees out. Soup. Must. Happen. Bonus points if it has the word “harvest” in its name. Fewer bonus points if you make ten gallons of soup but don’t own a deep freezer.

5. Think, This will be the year I purge a bunch of stuff before bringing in more stuff. Actually believe you’re going to go through with this.

6. See a bunch of super cute stuff in the holiday aisles while running errands and “accidentally” add them to your cart…every week from now until the new year. Okay, and the week after New Year’s, too (because it’s all on clearance and that doesn’t even really count).

7. Get bodily angry that the bathroom air freshener smells summer-laundry-fresh when it could smell like Winter Breeze or Holiday Spice. HOW COULD YOU HAVE MISSED THIS DURING THE CANDLE FRENZY?

8. Start the conversations with extended family members about where you’ll be spending each holiday and/or whether you’ll be hosting. Then brace yourself for the 7,692 calls, texts, emails, and loaded sighs to follow.

9. See the current airfares and wish you had ordered your flights to grandma’s house months ago (as well as your packing lists).

10. Find the sweaters—everyone’s sweaters. WHY ISN’T ANYONE WEARING A FESTIVE SWEATER RIGHT AT THIS VERY MOMENT? is a thing you will you shout in your head at loved ones multiple times in the coming weeks. They will see it in your eyes and back slowly away.

11. Decide to decorate the house in everything brown No! red No! blue No! green No! gold. Homegoods employees will soon know you by name.

12. Start dreaming about pies. (Pie crusts are too tricky to actually make, so dreams are best in this situation.)

13. Over-think the wreath situation for every door, mantle, and blank wall in your home even if this is not the person you normally are the rest of the year.

14. Start binging made-for-TV romantic holiday movies like it’s your job—the cheesier, the better. This is the soundtrack to your life now. The DVR is full, and everyone knows not to delete Mama’s special shows.

15. Wonder why the heck you haven’t taken a decent family photo yet this year for the holiday card. Seriously, you’re together like all the time. How does this never happen? HOW? WHY? AND WHEN CAN YOU MAKE IT HAPPEN NOW WITH SUCH LITTLE TIME LEFT?

16. Decide to come up with another fun family tradition to add to the list of things you already do.

17. Wrangle your family into semi-coordinating outfits and yell JUST SMILE NATURALLY LIKE THIS IS A HAPPY MOMENT while taking that blessed family photo which you’ll print out at the local drugstore.

18. Regularly put hot cocoa all up in your face as a treat for getting items checked off your To Do list. But not the powdery mix the kids drink—LOL, no, not that. The thick, dreamy kind with real whipped cream on top you get at the coffee shop. Mmm…they’ll never know and you 100% deserve it.

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