Mom Confessional: What the Holidays Really Mean

Mom Confessional: What the Holidays Really Mean

One mom tells us what makes all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season worth it.


By: Alyssa Chirco

As the winter holidays approach, I’m already beginning to feel the stress that inevitably accompanies them. There are gifts to buy, treats to bake, parties to attend and extended family members who already want to know which holidays we’re planning to celebrate and where.

Like a lot of busy moms, I sometimes wish that I could skip the hustle and bustle of the holiday season entirely. Maybe we could just get straight to January. My to-do list would certainly benefit.

But then I think of all the small moments I would miss. The holiday season, despite the extra work that comes with it, has always been my favorite time of year. When else do you bring your kids into the kitchen to prepare that special recipe handed down through generations? (Or join your neighbors to go caroling and drink hot chocolate while bundled up beneath layers and layers of fleece?)

Is there anything better than watching your child’s eyes light up when he or she first realizes how the joy of giving can be greater than the joy of receiving?

Moms know the holidays are more about love and togetherness than the rush to score a better deal on the season’s hottest toy, but it’s easy to get caught up in the frantic pace of one of the busiest times year.

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Sometimes we need to stop, breathe and remember a few things. The holidays are a time of celebration, so step back and be sure to observe some of the things for which we should all be thankful.

Creating New Traditions — and Honoring Old Ones
Every year, I make cuccidati (Sicilian fig cookies), which are a holiday tradition in my husband’s family. It’s a complicated recipe, and there are years I’m certain I can’t possibly find the time. But I always make time to make them, It’s a tradition I want to share with my kids. Traditions bring families together, and that’s what the holidays are all about.

Celebrating Our Family’s Past
Whether we’re looking through old photo albums or reminiscing over pumpkin pie, the holidays encourage us to share cherished family memories. These days, my grown sisters and I spend the mornings we get together during the holidays sipping coffee and thinking back to all those holidays we spent together as kids. My own children love to look at pictures of themselves throughout the years, and I love to tell the stories that accompany each and every one.

Decorating for the Season
Some years, decorating for the holidays may not seem worth the extra effort, but my family has moved several times recently, and I’ve worked hard to ensure that every house we’ve lived in has felt like a home. Holiday décor, with all the familiar ornaments we love, goes a long way in making our house feel cozy, warm and like a place where we really belong.

Spending Time with Loved Ones
Drinking hot chocolate together. Watching classic holiday movies in front of a roaring fire. Sharing a special meal with extended family members we don’t often see. The many small ways we spend extra time with our loved ones during the holiday season can seem insignificant, but for me — and most likely for you — these are the moments that make the holidays truly worth celebrating.



Alyssa is a St. Louis-based freelance journalist who provides writing, editing, and social media services for print, Web and small businesses. She writes about parenting and family life for STLParent and is a contributing editor of Parenting Squad.

Read all the pieces of our ongoing series of Mom Confessionals.


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