A Love Letter to the Parent Who Finds the Holidays Less Than Magical

Challenging, depressing, difficult, disappointing, hard, stressful, a struggle, and unpleasant… these are a few of my favorite things *queue the music* that fall into my favorite phrase of “less than magical.”

The holidays can be hard for some people. If I’m being honest, I think the holidays are hard for most people. I’m not here to speculate or tell you why this might be a difficult time of year for you. If it’s challenging time of year for you, you know why. You do not need me to explain why. Your reasons are valid. I want to offer a Love Letter (though, I think we can all agree it’s a little early for Valentine’s Day!) to you, the parent who finds the holiday season less than magical at times.

Glowing hearts with the text “a love letter for you”

My Dearest Love,

I see you sparkle. There are so many twinkling lights emerging and you may be adding on a few layers of clothing for warmth and/or comfort thinking your light might be starting to dim or be hidden under all the other responsibilities and tasks. But I still see that sparkle.

I see you sparkle when it’s been a long day, that candle has almost burned out, and something crosses your path to breathe a little life back into your flame. That something could be as simple as a well-chosen meme from a friend, a side hug from your tween, or just a moment of silence to hear your deep calming breath without being drowned out by the jingling of bells.

I see you sparkle when you maintain the healthy boundaries you have set with family members, when you manage to say “no” when you have reached your limit, and when you take a pause and delete the snarky response you considered for a social media post.

I see you when you don’t feel like you are sparkling. I see you when others are trying to dim that sparkle. I see you when the very last thing you want to do is sparkle.

I see that you are not alone.

I see that you are trying your best.

I see that you are worthy of unconditional love.

Please know that it is absolutely okay to celebrate the holidays however you would like – even if that way is different from how you celebrated as a child, as a young adult, or even just last year. Please know that your children already know you are the greatest gift to them. Your sparkle is the cause of the precious sparkle you get to see in their eyes.

Sending you hope and love,

– a parent who also finds the holidays less than magical at times

If you’d like articles with specific tips for help during the holidays, I’d recommend the following:

10 Tips for Taking Care of Yourself During the Holidays

Surviving the Invisible Load of Motherhood During the Holidays: Tips for Moms

Setting Boundaries with Family Around the Holidays

Navigating the Holidays Post-Divorce

Divorce and the Holidays: Choose Your Own Adventure

Surviving the Holidays As a Blended Family

Home is Where the Military Sends Us: Making Holidays Feel Like Home When You’re Far from Family

Three Ways to Buy Yourself Time Around the Holidays

If you feel you or someone you love needs more help you can call the Postpartum Support International HelpLine at 1-800-944-4773

#1 En Español or #2 English

Or text “Help” to 800-944-4773 for English

Text en Español 971-203-7773

Or visit online here

Ashley Mazzanti
As an ambitious & passionate Scorpio, Ashley loves many things and loves them with all she has. Parenting has been a transformative experience for Ashley and continues to evolve as her children - Jameson (2011), Josiah (2013), Jove (2015) & Jane (2018) enter, exist & exit different ages & stages. She is thankful to have her college sweetheart (Tim), 2 dogs, 2 cats by her side for comfort, support & encouragement during life's adventures. San Antonio has been home for Ashley since 2005 when she moved to attend UTSA (C/O 2009). Ashley is an Independent Travel Advisor and volunteers with local & national level non-profits. Activism, coffee, dancing, Disney, plants, Star Wars, tattoos, and yoga are all life long passionate loves for Ashley. You can find Ashley enjoying a treat at Plantyful Sweets, exploring our gorgeous local parks & Botanical Gardens, or cheering on the UTSA Roadrunner Football Team at the Alamodome.