Low-Key December: Is it Possible?

I always feel like December slaps me in the face with a bag of rocks. There’s so much going on! Sometimes I wonder why we can’t spread out the awesome stuff year-round instead of cramming it all into one month, but then there’s something very magical about winter time.

It’s a bit contradictory, isn’t it, the way the darker days beckon us to come inside and cozy up while our friends and loved ones call us out to celebrate together?


Last year, I had concerns with “holiday weaning,” since we had so much going on and my baby was already a distracted nurser. I had to make a concentrated effort to stop to nurse him, really retreat to a dark, quiet room and make sure he got a full feeding so as not to compromise my milk supply.

It’s hard to do that, isn’t it? Stop, and sit and nurse when there are cookies to bake or snowflakes to cut or errands to run. I’m pretty proud of myself for the decisions I’ve already made this month to try to keep December a little bit calmer.

For starters, I decided not to travel to my hometown before Christmas. This is a hard one, because I haven’t been home to visit extended family in awhile. My last few trips have been whirlwind visits to see grandparents in nursing homes. We flew in and out of town and, really, spent most of the weekend on the Turnpike.

Travel is stressful all around, with packing and purchasing car snacks and unpacking and interrupted sleep. So I decided to cut back one trip. This choice had the waterfall effect of creating an “open” weekend. I don’t have to cram grocery shopping into a week day, we can spread out some of our holiday traditions a bit, and actually sit at home and read some of the books I’ve been hankering for. (Remember when I raved about Fletcher and the Falling Leaves? They have a Snowflake Christmas book, too!)

Of course, I still look at my calendar and see I’ll be missing bedtime at least twice per week, that I’ll need to find sitters for 3 weekend days, and that I’ll need to come up with a lot of potluck contributions. Thankfully, my toddler is still nursing. While it’s not essential that I maintain milk supply for him (or remind him that he needs to nurse amidst the excitement), I still cherish the thought of some forced stoppages to sit and be still with him. Maybe I can even have conversations with my older son to boot!

Have you succeeded in slowing things down as December approaches? Leave us a comment to share your strategies.

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