As a stay-at-home mom, I am very lucky to be able to go to the stores during somewhat quiet weekday hours. Not needing to shop on the weekend when stores are crowded helps me be more efficient and calm.
However, during Christmas season stores seem to be crazy anytime I go.
A few years ago my strategy for grocery shopping was to do it as early on a Saturday morning as possible. I literally would set my alarm for 6 AM, wake up, grab a snack and my shopping list, and head out to the store in my PJs. An hour later I was back with groceries for the whole week. No fuss and no lines.
Now… I don’t do that anymore. I have other things going on. But there is something else I came up with for the Christmas season that still helps me to be more calm and efficient: stop bringing my child to the stores.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a weekday or a weekend, I decided to limit how often I bring my toddler with me. One reason is so that I can take my time and be focus on navigating busy stores. Another reason is to not limit my daughter’s involvement in the consumeristic part of Christmas.
I’d like to raise her in a way that she won’t necessarily associate Christmas with shopping but with music, cooking, moderate gifts, and friends and family. Taking her to the stores at an age when she can’t quite understand yet why there are so many things and people around would not help with that goal.
So I shop by myself.
Joyfully – I’m seriously so thankful that God provides for us!
I do a kid swap with a friend of mine once a week. She watches my daughter for a few hours and then I watch her daughter. It’s a great opportunity for me to take a break and read, write, or simply go shopping.
If I don’t go shopping during the week, then I will go during the weekend, which is much busier but I know I can go by myself since my husband is available to be with our daughter.
I’m also considering asking my husband to do the shopping this month so that I can forget about it altogether.
Having supportive friends and a spouse is such a blessing. It’s not just because of the bigger overall feeling of having support and community. What makes it amazing is actually the small little opportunities like being able to go shop by myself or clean the apartment, or just nap.
If you have friends and family around, this Christmas can be a great opportunity to work together and help each other out. If the idea of not needing to take your children to the store sounds good to you, think about the times and people that you have available to make it happen. I’d love to hear how it works for you.