Many moms struggle with guilt, comparison at Christmas

They say comparison is the thief of joy, and no one understands that more than a mother at Christmastime.

Moms with less money might compare themselves to moms with more money, and feel guilty their children won’t be getting the same big-ticket items under the Christmas tree.

Moms who work scheduled shifts might compare themselves to moms who have flexible workdays, and feel badly for not being able to attend the school’s morning Christmas concerts or volunteer at the school’s Christmas dinner.

Moms who work full time might compare themselves to the moms who stay at home, and feel sad they don’t have free hours to do pre-Christmas crafts and baking sessions with their children.

Moms who spend more than they can afford at Christmas might compare themselves to moms who have no trouble covering the gifts without going into debt for them, and stress over the credit card bills that will come in January.

Continue reading in my weekly parenting column, The Mom Scene …

DIY felt Christmas tree ornaments

Some of my favourite Christmas ornaments are the soft felt ones sewed by my mom and her friend back when I was a baby. Every year, I marvel at their tiny little stitches and how they’re still in perfect condition after so many years. 

Meanwhile, most of our other ornaments look pretty rough. The plastic figurines have snapped-off limbs, the salt dough ornaments usually turn mushy after one season and we often smash a couple of bulbs at some point.

Since I love to sew, I decided to try making my own set of felt Christmas tree ornaments. It’s something I wish I’d done when my children were smaller, since felt ornaments are much safer for babies and toddlers. Nothing to crack or shatter! 

Felt is very inexpensive at craft stores and dollar stores and the only other supplies you’ll need are a pair of scissors, an embroidery needle, embroidery floss and a bit of cotton stuffing.

(You can buy stuffing, but I just cut open an old pillow I found in the very back of the linen closet.) 

Continue reading in YULETIDE PREPARATIONS, a SaltWire custom publishing title. 

DIY Christmas scrapbooks

I’d been saying for years that I wanted to create dedicated Christmas scrapbooks.

You know, books that only contained a few pages per year and you could flip through every single family Christmas in one swoop.

I’d forgotten, apparently, that I stopped scrapbooking around the time my oldest child started crawling and never, ever picked it back up again. 

Still, I was determined! I wanted to flip through nine years of kids-on-Santa’s-lap-at-the-mall photos. That meant I had a lot of sorting to do, since I had to go back to Christmas 2010, when our oldest child was just six months old.

Our oldest is now nine years old and we’re about to celebrate our 10th Christmas as a family, so I had nine years’ worth of digital photos to sort through.

How did I create these DIY Christmas scrapbooks? How will I maintain them each year?

Continue reading over in a special SaltWire custom publishing magazine called YULETIDE Preparations …