Why Hosting A Christmas Party When You Have Young Kids Is A Fool's Errand

I thought I had everything under control. I was wrong.

It’s that time of year when everyone is feeling festive and decking the halls and I have to admit, that as a Christmas super fan, I couldn't be more excited.

This year our tree went up in mid-November, right after Santa arrived in town for the local parade. The temperature outside was still in the double digits and most people still had their Halloween décor out, but I thought why not get a jump on it and enjoy it a little longer this year? With two little ones at home, Christmas always seems to pass in a blur of red, green and sparkles and it feels like I have just got everything set up when I have to take it all down again.

So yes, we did deck the halls really early this year at our place, but it was also because I hosted an early Christmas party. I was super eager to host as I love entertaining, showing off my collection of all things Christmas that I have been collecting for years, and popping a cork to celebrate another year.

When I said I would host, one family member kept quizzing me. “Are you sure? But you have an infant at home.”  

“Sure,” I replied. “I’ve got this. I love Christmas and it’s easier for us to be home with the kids anyway.”

Was I crazy? 

Fast-forward to today, the day AFTER the party, and my answer is, “What was I thinking? Never again.”

Now you can ask anyone around me, I do sincerely love Christmastime and entertaining. But throw a wee one into the mix and suddenly it's all bah-humbug as my inner Grinch comes out.

While all of my guests were gathered around the table, sharing stories and sipping drinks, I was in another room with the children trying to make tree ornaments which looked so easy online, but with my six-month-old in the baby carrier around my neck and five other youngsters with glue bottles and paint brushes in their hands, quickly became a disaster.

I had sent out the party invitations, requesting the company of my guests between 3 and 6 pm. This was picked strategically for naptime and bedtime, so that once all the guests left and the children were nestled and snug in their beds, this mama would be pouring a drink and enjoying a cheesy Christmas movie, alone in her PJs by 8 pm, toasting herself for pulling off another epic party.

But that couldn't have been further from the truth.

One guest rolled in at quarter to six when the invitation clearly stated that the party wrapped fifteen minutes later.

Rather than gearing down, the party was just heating up. The kids were getting rowdier and rowdier as the candies and Christmas cookies started to disappear and their bedtime hour became a distant memory.

As a breastfeeding mom, I politely sipped my cranberry on the rocks, envious of all the other guests who were definitely feeling the Christmas cheer and blissfully unaware of the children's screams and rambunctious behavior.

Two hours after the party was supposed to end I walked my over-stimulated infant up the stairs to put her to bed. I sat quietly in the rocking chair while she nursed, cursing everyone in my living room and wishing with all my might that by the time I went back downstairs they would kindly disappear.

Luckily, my baby could sleep through the noise. But I just wished that I could sleep through the tornado that must have blown through my house with pretty much every toy we own strewn around, dishes piled up in the kitchen, and fingerprints on pretty much anything waist level and below.

As the saying goes, 'If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em,' so I did just that—I poured myself a stiff one and tried to embrace the fun of the season.

I couldn't indulge too much, though, as even with the late night, I knew my little babies would still wake me up at 7 am sharp on the hunt for our Elf. But hopefully, Santa does get my letter and my wish for a desert island for one comes true!

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