The problem with the holidays is that they are too short.
Thanksgiving is still fresh in our minds, and we've only got four short weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas to make all our family's fantasies come true.
(Forget Santa - we all know who the head elf is here).
So, Ms. Elf - how are you going to pull it off? Easy.
You're going to make a plan. Or three -- to organize holiday life so your family can actually enjoy the season without being crazy busy.
Get out your calendar and a pen and paper. You're going to make your own Christmas list that will help you organize your family's schedule for maximum enjoyment by all. And it will be a doozy.
Now you've got a plan for the holidays. All other invitations or events will be juggled around your basic family schedule. This way you might just avoid wrapping Santa gifts at 2 a.m. on December 25.
Plan A pertains to the head elf (you). Plan B relates to the whole family. Hey, why should you have all the stress - er - fun? Go back to your list and see what you can delegate to whom.
If you've made a plan and you're still feeling overwhelmed, something is not working.
Reevaluate your plan. Maybe you're trying to do too much. What can you leave out? Remember those quiet evenings are also a vital part of the holiday season.
If you're always rushing around to parties and concerts and breakfasts with Santa, when are you going to enjoy your lovely holiday home? When will you have time just to be a family?
Make sure you schedule some down time on that calendar as well. Write it in red.
We keep raising the bar on ourselves. Whatever we did last year, we feel we need to do it bigger and better this year.
The dinner will be more spectacular. The gifts will all be custom-wrapped to fit the recipient. We really will go caroling this year...
Sound familiar? Tell yourself what you tell the kids when they write out their wish lists: You can't have it all. And even if you could, it wouldn't make you happy. The trick is to make what you do have very, very special.
You may have to forgo the holiday newsletter. Hey, send it in February! You may not have time to make the plum pudding. Your home may not glisten when neighbors drop by.
Take time to love your children and make your home warm and welcoming - if a bit messy.
You are not super mom. You are mom. And that's super enough.