Hectic Holidays with ADHD

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Target aired it’s first holiday commercial a week or so ago. The Christmas decorations have been in the store for even longer. And if you are organized enough to be doing your holiday cards, the Post Office has Christmas and other holiday stamps for sale already.

Everybody is crazy busy around the holidays, whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza or some other December holiday. And if you’re in the states, there’s Thanksgiving in November too.

You don’t have to have ADHD to feel overburdened and frazzled this time of year. But it helps.;)

As moms, we are generally put in charge of just about everything.

Make a gourmet meal for 20. Do all of the shopping – and that’s a lot! Send out cards. Take pictures, wrap gifts, get everyone suitably clothed for the holidays. Give and attend parties and find the perfect gift for everyone on your list.

That’s a lot to do, even for someone without ADHD. Add in the ADD and you’re facing an uphill battle at best.

An inability to focus and stay on task can leads to all sorts of trouble. You can’t celebrate the holidays with things half done. And yet, who can focus when they’ve got all that sparkly, twirly, musical stuff everywhere?

Forgetfulness can lead to all kinds of mayhem, like maybe inviting 10 people to Christmas dinner and forgetting to go grocery shopping.

ADD Moms Christmas

Impulsivity can lead to overspending and an inability to make a firm decision and stick with it can make finding a gift downright impossible.

Want to get through the holidays this year with a little more sanity and peace on earth?

Here are some of my suggestions:

Lower your expectations. The perfect anything doesn’t exist. Settle for good enough.

Take a look at your calendar and cut back. Set priorities now for which kinds of events you will attend and stick to it. Kids functions come first because family is important. Things for work may need to be tolerated but at least try to leave early. Make sure you have at least one or two free nights a week and don’t ever try to go to more than one thing in the same day.

Unless you love it and it relaxes you, give up the homemade anything. There’s no need to bake 400 cookies when you can buy them much faster.

Consider putting out less decorations this year. Maybe 1 tree instead of 3?

Start getting ready now. Decide what’s important for you to do or celebrate and concentrate on those things. Get lists for presents and sizes too. Plan your meals, including who will bring what and which pans and serving pieces you will need.

Stay out of the mall. Shopping at the mall makes me light headed and dizzy. It’s even worse during the holidays with all of the crowds and decorations. I do all of my shopping online. A good alternative is to go during the week and during the day.

Delegate and ask for help. You’ve got lots of helpers nearby if you just ask. Get the kids involved. Give your spouse an education on what it takes to get everything done. ALways say yes if someone offers to bring a dish.

Consider hiring someone to come in just before the holidays to give the house a good cleaning. The one time might be worth the money you spend. Otherwise, get the family involved one weekend.

Set a theme for gift giving. Maybe everyone gets new pjs and slippers or warm sweaters. Give everyone a new game or a movie and some popcorn.

Give yourself a gift. While you have your calendar out, set aside some time just for you, or for you and someone special. Have tea or a nice lunch, get a massage or a manicure. Do something that makes you feel good.

The holidays don’t have to be hectic. They can be sane and enjoyable with a little planning and follow through.

Picture of Lacy Estelle

Lacy Estelle

Lacy Estelle is the writer of Lacyestelle.com and the Podcast host for An ADD Woman.

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