Managing Holiday Stress as a Homeschool Mom

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Welcome to the holiday season!

Here is your to-do list, according to Pinterest:

  1. Hand-make ornaments for your Christmas tree, using your precious children’s hand or footprints. Hand-make gifts for all the grandparents. Hand-make gifts for all your friends. Hand-make gifts for the kids Sunday school teachers, scout leaders, and the mailman. Just handmake everything for the next 25 days, okay?
  2. Buy an Elf on the Shelf. Move said elf all over the house (not just the shelf). Set up a tea party for the elf. Embrace elf shenanigans.
  3. Start brainstorming 365 reasons you love your husband. Write them on antique parchment. Put them in a mason jar. Give it to him on Christmas morning. Don’t forget the elaborate wrapping job. Remember to nag him to read one a day for the next year.
  4. Speaking of wrapping- hand paint burlap for all of the gifts under your trees. Good moms don’t buy poison filled, environment killing colored paper from Walmart. They just don’t.
  5. Bake 73 different types of Christmas cookies. Things like Ginger-Doodles and chocolate dipped chocolate fudge. Maybe do some mini-cheesecakes and mini-bread loaves and mini-cake pops while you are at it. Paint the pottery you will use to deliver the cookies with elaborate scenes.
  6. Get your nails done with cute Christmas tree doodles on one of your fingers. Braid your daughter’s hair into an easy star or Christmas tree or reindeer shape. Make your daughter look like a Who from Whoville.
  7. Decorate your house with no less than 7 Christmas trees. Make sure they are free-range.
  8. Plan a Grinch party! A cookie party! Go caroling!

Happy family mother and child girl near a Christmas tree with Christmas present

Make it all perfect.

go. go. go. do. do. do.

Or, just stop.

Here is a new list for you.

  1. Delete your Pinterest bookmark.
  2. Give yourself grace

All sarcasm aside, there are a million reasons to feel overwhelmed and stressed and sad this holiday season. Pinterest probably isn’t the problem. Life is hard, y’all. I have friends dealing with deployments, with the loss of babies, with ill children and aging parents. Maybe you moved this year and are homesick. Maybe Christmas just isn’t in the budget. Life. Is. Hard.

Whatever you are struggling with this holiday season, I hope you find a way to give yourself grace and find some peace this season. These coping techniques may help:

  • Phone a friend
  • Take a mom’s time out- set the kids in front of a movie, and hang out alone in your bedroom
  • Write it down- sometimes putting your stress on paper can help make it seem less overwhelming
  • Write a letter- if a person is the source of your holiday blues, write to them and lay it all out. You don’t have to send the letter if you don’t want to.
  • Take a break- set aside your curriculum. It will be there in January and the kids won’t lose IQ points from watching YouTube videos for a couple weeks.
  • Send the kids to a friends house. Return the favor when you feel better.
  • Order takeout instead of cooking
  • Start a go-fund-me to pay for medical bills and other serious situations- your friends and family may be in a place to help, especially if the need is great.
  • Call local charities to see if you qualify for help if things are dire (angel tree, food banks, churches)
  • Volunteer- sometimes the best way to feel better is to help others
  • Go on vacation- leave the house and daily stress behind
  • Say “no”- no to the bake sale, no to the Christmas party, no to volunteering.
  • Tell your spouse/your children/your mother that you need help


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  1. How nice to know people like u still exists now a days in hard times u feel like I am alone . Goodluck to everybody .

  2. This would be a tremendous help for my family this christmas, especially with my birthday coming very soon too. Good luck everyone !! xx

  3. Just want to be able to give my kids a good christmas. The last couple weren’t great. I’ll leave it at that. Thank you for considering us!!!!

  4. We have birthdays that fall just days before Christmas. It’s always a struggle trying to budget everything all at once. This would help tremendously.

  5. Thank you for seeing things differently. My husband, myself and our 12 yr old son are disabled and it makes it so hard with all I have to do each and every day, never a day off, I even homeschool our son. This has taught me that I dont need to be extra super woman and its ok to take some time off when I need to. Holiday time always makes 1000 times more things to do and even more stress. Thank you, am so glad I read this. May God bless you and happy Holidays to you and yours.

    1. The extra money would surely be a blessing in our home. The landlord is raising our rent on January 1st, $500 would pay most of a months rent.

  6. I always stress during the holidays by making homemade gifts. Sure it saves the money we don’t have to spend but the added stress on me is killer.

  7. I thought you were serious with that first list and decided by the item talking about doing your girls hair that you had lost your mind.

    Things are tight for us, as it is for others. Some extra money would help. I’d love to give some of it to others.

  8. Thank you for your generosity and for the other bloggers too.

    I would probably buy some gifts and pay down debt.

    Love this post, really need to just relax sometimes.

  9. I am a single homeschooling mother of four boys ages 10, 8, 7 and 4. My oldest and youngest have ADHD and Autism. $500 would bless me with the ability to actually give my boys a Christmas!! It would be unbelievable!

  10. Winning this giveaway would lift a huge burden for my family. Being a single mom, money is tight, but this year is even tighter. I cannot afford Christmas this year and I’m praying for a miracle.
    Thank you so much for hosting this giveaway! It is so refreshing to see something out of the ordinary art this time of year.

  11. $500 would help us purchase a new dishwasher. We’ve lost over 1/2 of our business over the past two years and are not having any luck picking up new accounts to make up the difference. Two kids in braces, one to have multiple surgeries over the next year, and a minor house fire hasn’t left any room in the budget to replace the dishwasher that broke over two years ago. It would be a huge stress reliever to NOT have piles of dishes to do on top of all our other responsibilities!

  12. Would provide for so many needs we have. However, God is the true meaning of Christmas and I will I know this would help us it would also be good to give a little too!!

  13. We had to replace the transmission in our only car a few months ago. $500 would sure help in paying off some of the debt we accumulated from that expensive repair!

  14. The money would help make up for what my husband was unable to earn because of illness and it would allow us to ease the family budget just a little.

  15. Thanks for this giveaway and the timely post. Sometimes it helps to have a reminder that Christmas isn’t about keeping up with Pinterest, but spending time with family.

  16. I love this post. It’s very easy to get swept into the season as one of busy-ness. I’m grateful for the reminder to slow down. Thank you for organizing such a generous giveaway!

  17. Who wouldn’t be blessed by an unexpected monetary gift? I know our finances, like so many are tight this year. This would help stretch our budget through the lean winter months.

  18. this is the first year that we will not be able to give Christmas to our children. This would be a big blessing to our family if we won.

  19. The give away would enable me to bless in other ways than I normally would, prayerfully. That may mean within my family or outside of it.

  20. We are hoping to go on a cruise when my husband gets leave from his 15 month overseas assignment without us! This $500 woukd help make it a reality!

  21. Grace, at Christmas … What a concept. 🙂 Seriously though, this is a good reminder that we need to be kind to OURSELVES. too.

    1. Oh, and this would bless our family because we would be able to actually afford to buy some nice gifts for our family and choose a fantastic charity to bless with the rest!

  22. We would use this money to help fund our Christmas trip to see family with 11 kids. Here’s to Christmas travelling!!

  23. What a great contest! I would use the extra money to get gifts for the homeless in my community, and loved ones who live far away.

  24. We have had a crazy year of financial burdens and I have yet to begin Christmas Shopping for our family this year. This would bless the socks off for our family freeing up the chance to give to the kids a first Christmas in a new location. Plus I would love to give a little to someone in need too!

  25. As we are new to homeschooling this year, this $500 would go towards the currently needed curriculum and materials for our sons. What an AWESOME way to spread the joy this holiday season! Thank you for the opportunity!

  26. My dd (5), who is never sick, just spent 3 days in the hospital due to viral meningitis. We would use the money to help with Christmas shopping and to pay down a chunk towards the many bills that are rolling in. Thank you so much for this opportunity – but also just for all of the work that you do! You are a blessing.

  27. What a blessing this is for whoever wins. I would love to win, I could use it, but I do know there are others who need it more. I hope you are able to bless someone who truly could use a small miracle in their life.

  28. if i had an extra $500 my kids could actually had a good xmas this year . they have done without the past few years b/c of their grandfathers medical bills and his ailing health i am a stay at home mom/caregiver to my father and mother b/c they can no longer live alone i put my life goals on hold indefinatly to care for them and especially my father who is bed bound due to the past year of suffering a major stroke that has left him paralyzed and 2 major heart attacks within months of each one. we have had a major black cloud over us for many years and now its seems to get darker as the years go by with my parents aging i just wish the years christmas to be a good one for my kids and their grandpa who loves my kids like his own they have that special bond b/c my father has been their father figure in their lives he is the only father they have ever known and i wouldnt have it any other way because he was the best father to me …this may be his last christmas with them and i want them to cherish it and have the memory of it for ever especially since his health is declining so fast ….i refuse to put up a go fund me page b/c i feel like other people deserve it more than we do and i would feel guilty doing it. if i won $500 it would make christmas so special and some medical bills disappear …i know all my kids want for christmas is for their grandpa to get better b/c that is what they put in their letters to santa and then they said if he wanted to give them a gift that they would accept it but that they didnt want anything other than their grandpa to get better so this christmas i hope wishes will be granted for everyone and atleast 1 wish for us to be granted a christmas we would never forget with grandpa ! my wish too is for this black cloud that follows us around to disappear forever but that i know will not happen but atleast we could have one wonderful christmas for my family to remeber with their grandpa

  29. This is a wonderful giveaway. I would use it for Christmas gifts and to have some extra money while traveling in December to visit folks.

  30. Hi. What a wonderful giveaway. I would use this to bless my husband with a new (used) phone. His is so old and he just can’t bring himself to pay $200-300 for new one. The rest I would use for our kids Christmas gifts, we like to only buy educational, quality made toys, and they are more expensive than the consumable one type use toys that they don’t end up playing with (past opening of the gifts).

  31. What a beautiful, honest post about the holidays! Thank you for the encouragement. Sometimes, life IS hard. With one daughter and another baby on the way, our family is living on one small income, while I stay home to homeschool and be with our kiddos. This giveaway would alleviate a huge burden with hospital bills and doctor’s visits this year. Thanks for your blessing of writing and generosity!

  32. Thank you for the encouragement and the reminder–Christmas isn’t about perfection. It’s about love, joy, peace and hope…in whatever forms they take.

  33. I love your ideas for giving yourself grace and for blessing others! Thank you for the opportunity to win, this would be such a blessing. Money is always tight, but at Christmas time, with both childrens’ birthdays also being in December, and needing new brakes on our truck, this would be especially helpful. Merry Christmas!

  34. It would be fun to use this money for special Christmas activities with our kids. We try not to spend a ton of money on Christmas gifts, but prefer to focus on the season and family time.

  35. We never seem to be able to climb out of the holes life keeps putting into our paths but small blessings are all around us. We would use this to help with Christmas and to do some kind deeds for those who have greater needs than ours. Thank you for the blessing of your blog.

  36. Oh my goodness this would be such a HUGE blessing for our family. I’m trying to not feel jealous and covet what I know others are getting themselves for Christmas when I just want to be able to pay the bills and have a little money left over. With brakes on the car to get done and Christmas coming so soon…. This would be a huge blessing. Thank you again for the chance.

  37. Thank you for the chance to feel like a mom, and provide my kids with a small gift and a donation to my towns Childrens Center….

  38. We are still recovering from job loss. This would be such a big blessing and allow me to put a few presents under the tree and pay a bill or two! Thanks for the chance to win!

  39. This would help with some bills. Thank you to all for doing this give away. May your holidays be blessed and full of joy.

  40. Thanks for the opportunity. It always makes my heart happy to see people offering to share what they have. Merry Christmas!

  41. What a great blessing to read this post. Everyone is going through something. I would use the money to pay it forward… Someone paid for my groceries – $116.00 a few weeks ago. I got a few necessary groceries, and went to pay. My bank card was missing. I went to my car to get my check book, when I returned, someone had paid for those groceries! It touched my heart, now I have to be 10 times more kind to everyone because I have no idea who it was! Thank you all for being so generous -this will really help someone! Merry Christmas!

  42. This is such an amazing thing you are doing!! That would enable me to finish my son’s Christmas shopping and pay the months car payment….people like you are such a blessing!!!

  43. We could use it towards paying a bill or converting my son’s room to a more sensory friendly room. This would be a huge blessing to us. Our son was recently diagnosed with ADHD and is suspected to have dyslexia, SPD and proprioception. He has a long road ahead of him with PT and OT. It would be nice to be able to make the changes for him.

  44. We have four children ages 6 and under including a new baby. My husband is not working and is back in school to retrain for a new career. This money would definitely be a great blessing for our family.

  45. This would be such a blessing to help my family during the holidays the same way they have helped and supported me after being diagnosed with a chronic illness this past year. They have done SO much for me, and I would love to return some of the love this way!

  46. It would pay my bills for the month. Since my husband died, we struggle with finances, so this would definitely help pay my bills! It would be a huge blessing.

  47. Right on! Baking cookies and doing crafts is great, if it’s actually enjoyable. But don’t do all that just to check off a box. Cuddling up with your kiddos, watching an old movie and ordering pizza is totally cool, and the kids will remember and cherish those fun, carefree times together.

  48. Thanks for reminding us that we need to enjoy the moments and not run ragged meeting outside (or internal) expectations.

  49. What a nice thing to do! I have five kids and there is never enough money. We financially support an older man who shares the house with us and the bills have been exceptionally high lately. I’d likely split the $ between bills, gifts for the kids, and probably my parents, (Dad is soon going on dialysis and can’t work anymore, and my Mom supports them but her job’s barely giving her any hours and my Mom is making present this year since she can’t afford to buy any). From the comments, sounds like there are a lot of people who could use the extra help!

  50. Things are definitely tight right now, and I’ve been fighting a very large kidney stone for a week with no end in sight yet. I’ve been unable to do much of anything toward the holidays. This would be such a blessing to help out my family. I’m glad you’re going to help out SOME family this holiday season, and I pray it is a huge blessing to the family that receives it.

  51. I would love to help out my parents this Christmas, my dad was just diagnosed with stage 3+ melanoma and is starting treatment this week. I’d like to get him some comfy clothes and help out with gas money to get to his treatments.

  52. Thank you for this post. In a time where we are supposed to be all jolly when you’re feeling life is plain chaotic. My house is in complete disarray and nothing holidayish has entered in yet. If only I had a magic wand to be all ready for this time of year and be like those hallmark movies. LOL One day it will happen…until then I just need to be patient with the house and enjoy the time with my family.

  53. This would be an amazing blessing! We would use the money for kitchen chairs. Ours were old an breaking and we have been stuck using folding chairs that are breaking down themselves.

  54. Thank you for the opportunity to win this money, It would be a real blessing to be able to get holiday supplies to do crafta and make gifts with my kiddos they love doing things like that and this money would help so much!

  55. If I would that money it would really help my family to be able to buy some groceries around christmas and to buy some presents also. It is so hard this time of the year. Stuff always seems to mess up and make it hard.

  56. Thanks for the chance at this….we are in a bit of a dire situation ourselves….DH just found out he needs a heart transplant and we will lose our insurance this week. I certainly wouldn’t turn away $500!!

  57. This was exactly what I needed to hear. I hate feeling inadequate, especially around the holidays. Things are tight, but we are so blessed. I think we will skip the parties and do hot cocoa, board games, and cheesy Christmas movies. Thank you for helping me put things into perspective!

  58. This would go a long way to helping to get rid of the last of our debt/build our emergency fund! Thanks for providing this chance

  59. Being a single mom working from home it would allow my daughter and I to travel to spend the holidays with our family.

  60. It would help us pay some bills. It is tough this time of year. My husband works outside and the weather effects his work.

  61. We have a newborn so we won’t be able to travel to visit family. It would be nice to camp in the mountains with our boys and spend time as a family in nature with Godinner celebrating all he’s done for us.

  62. What a great, generous gift for the holidays! We live overseas and the gift might be used for some special gifts for our two kids, or maybe saved for some family travel in the winter holiday!

  63. Thank you for the giveaway! I’m a single mom and we live paycheck to paycheck. This would be a great blessing for us. My heater in my car broke and it’s cold! I’d love to get it fixed and buy my kids a little something for Christmas. They will be happy either way. Christmas is for giving. My daughter and i go visit the elderly homes. It’s sad that so many of them are alone all the time. We make paper crafts for them.

  64. It’s so easy to get caught up in things this time of year. It’s great that you are doing this giveaway. I’m sure it will truly bless someone! Thank you for doing it!

  65. We will be traveling across the country for the holidays, which is very stressful for us because 2 out of 3 of our kids have severe allergies; some are life-threatening. Once we reach our destination, we will have to buy so many things to keep our girls safe, including a toaster, small food processor, etc. It’s going to really add up. Having food allergies at home is expensive, but traveling costs even more. The extra money would ease the burden. Thanks for the opportunity!

  66. Winning the money would allow my children to have some Christmas without mom always saying “we can’t afford that.” Between my husband working and in school, we’d be able to pay bills and have some grace to not worry so much.

  67. We are missionaries to Ukraine and homeschooling. In August we found out we were expecting twin girls but they had rare complications that would be fatal without highly specialized laser surgery. We came to u.s. and despite two surgeries one of our little girls died. Both girls will be delivered in a couple weeks at Christmas. We could really use financial help for some medical expenses and to bury our little one that us already in heaven.

  68. It will help my son get caught up on his bills. He just had his first baby and was out of work for a while.

  69. It seems like I never buy any Christmas presents for anyone any more. There is never any money to buy what I would like to buy for my family this time of the year! I just end up giving everyone cookies. It is getting really old! Some extra money to bless my family with “real” Christmas presents would wonderful!

  70. Thank you for this blog – and the giveaway. Ugh, the endless sea of perfection that is Pinterest. Don’t get me wrong, I have my boards and my pins. I love the ideas but the stress to be Pinterest perfect is too much. My husband lost his job at the end of October and he’s having a hard time finding another one. God is amazing and is providing for our every need. I’m not thrilled about the purse string tightening, especially at Christmas time, but going through this rough patch gives our boys the opportunity to see how good God is and how He provides always. Not always for what we want, but always for what we need. Merry Christmas to you all!

  71. Wow! what a great giveaway. may the Lord bless you all and your families. its nice to be a blessing to someone else.
    Thank you all so much!

  72. Thank you for reminding me of the gift of taking care of my sanity.–.those ideas give me permission to say No to more than I should be doing and Yes to enjoying time relaxing with my kids and remembering to be kind to myself!

  73. 73 different kinds of cookies lol. So true. Thanks for reminding me to relax. I am rusing to finish crochet stockings and get various gifts. I will take time to just snuggle.

  74. What a great opportunity! It would definitely bless our family of nine. I would really like them to have a great and memorable Christmas. Thanks!

  75. Money is really tight here right now. Everything seems to happen/come due at Christmas time & now my son is sick. I am stressing hard about bills. We could really use this blessing!!

  76. We need some things that’s for sure, but I am not sure how much I’d keep, and how much I’d bless with. I just know this would be a wonderful blessing.

  77. This would help us fix our vehicle that gets my husband to and from work. It needs repairs that we can’t afford. Also, the Virginia George website wouldn’t let me subscribe, I kept getting a DNS error messsge after hitting submit.

  78. I would use the money to buy some Christmas gifts. I would also purchase a few needed homeschool books. Thank you so much for doing this giveaway.

  79. This has been the hardestChristmas my family has ever gone through. My husband lost his job one year ago and is still looking for employment. Honestly we would just covet your prayers that a job would happen soon.

  80. We are in need of some big items like a washer and a computer for school. That money would go a long way with helping pay for those things.

  81. The money would be a peace-of-mind blessing. If something unexpected is needed, the money would be there to cover the costs.

  82. To be honest, I don’t deserve or need this as much as many people posting. I feel blessed to have a wonderful family and group of friends. Every year, though, at this time I wish I had a way of buying my family presents with EXTRA money. Money I somehow make or get. Being a SAHM is awesome and valuable, but it does make me feel sad that my talents and time don’t mean much in the way of material things exactly one time per year. And that is how the $500 would help.

  83. We try to keep Christmas simple, but it still takes money. We live paycheck to paycheck most of the year, any bit of found money is a blessing.

  84. Thank you very much for this chance at having extra money for necessary needs. I am not a home school mom, but a tutor home schooling, now for 4 and a half years, an 11 year old boy. His parents and I are both in tight financial straits and we could equally share this to all of our benefit. Thank you again.

  85. To have this extra money would be a wonderful blessing. I would probably use it to take my family on vacation. we have a sweet deal on a cabin rental for a week but plan on cooking all our meals. It would awesome to have a vacation for mom too, with no cooking. 🙂

  86. This would be a Godsend to win! I am raising and homeschooling my 9 year old grandson. I lost my job in June and Christmas is VERY tight this year as unemployment ran out last week. Thank you for the chance to win!

  87. This would bless us with helping getting house repairs done. Your blog is wonderful. Thank you for all your family’s continued sacrifices for us.

  88. From one busy Mom to another..this list is awesome. Sometimes we do just need to *stop* and focus on one thing at a time. Great giveaway. Thanks to all for the opportunity.

  89. Winning this money would bless our family by paying down some of our medical bills, and being able to afford a nice new (non-thrift-store) Christmas present for each of the kids.

  90. Thanks for offering the giveaway! We have 5 kids and struggle to make ends meet each month.$500 would give us the opportunity to purchase gifts for our kids this year!

  91. My husband is self employed and fell from a ladder at work a couple of weeks ago. He injured his back and tore his rotator cuff…he has been unable to work since. To say that money us tight around here is an understatement. This would be a wonderful blessing for our family right now.

  92. Oh I so needed to read this today. Between working full time and learning how to do this single mom thing for the first time this holiday season it’s just been overwhelming and all I want to do is sit in the corner and cry. My kids won’t care if it’s perfect this year and I keep forgetting that.

  93. Thousands of dollars in car repairs, my father in law dying this year, my own father being hospitalized as well means we are just about tapped out this year. $500 would go aways towards a nice Christmas for my 4 kids.

  94. This season has been an expensive one for us! We have baby #3 due in January, a broken water heater, a broken water pump, a sick dog, 2 kids bdays on top of the rest of the holidays. This money would help us offset some of all of that! Thanks for the chance. 🙂

  95. Celebrating both Christmas and Chanukah with four kids as a newly single mama. This giveaway would be a real blessing to our family – not just for holiday shopping, but for times that are financially tough EVERY day.

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