Experiencing Christmas as a child and experiencing Christmas as a mom, is extremely different. Besides lacking the overall whimsy I used to feel when we'd set up the tree, or the willingness to wake up way too early on Christmas morning, the two experiences aren't exactly comparable. Not even close, actually, but for different reasons. Over the years I've learned all the rules to surviving Christmas when you're a mom, and they're important ones if you want to get through the holiday season with any sort of sanity in-tact. However, if you'd ask my children which of the below I'm best at, they'd probably say, "None."
When my younger brother and I were little, we'd wake up at some ridiculously early hour in the morning, wide-eyed and ready to see the stash we so "patiently" waited months and months for. It was exhilarating to know some strange man crawled into our house as we slept, only to leave behind all the things we'd asked for. Like, what did we really do to deserve any of it? (Also, why are we not terrified of this man breaking into our house at night? But, I digress.)
As an adult, now in the role my mother had been in, I have to confess — I still get a little rush from it all. While all the build-up to Christmas can be a lot of noise, that feeling the morning of, when my sleepy-eyed children come down the stairs and their eyes light up as mine once did, is honestly the best feeling ever. I think Christmas morning is, dare I say, better as a mother. It makes all the stress worth it (sort of), if only for that magical Christmas morning (or until there's complaining about whatever they didn't get this year).
While "surviving" isn't the sole goal of the holiday, I prefer to take it on an hour-by-hour basis, because stress and life. With that said, here are a few of my rules to surviving Christmas when you're a mom (though, even before kids, I think these saved me).