The Christmas Breaking Point

“Do you think he’ll like it? I’m really worried he won’t’ like it,” my twelve-year-old daughter asked me from the doorway.

I jumped from where I was sitting in front of our family computer. I closed down a window where I had been tracking a gift for her. It was shipped late, and wouldn’t make it on time since it was now only days before Christmas. I looked around the room at the packages and wrapping paper thrown here and there, scanning for any gifts she shouldn’t see.

“What?” I barked.

She held up a black bracelet that she had made for her brother on her loom.

“He’ll love it,” I said, shooing her away.

“But I’m worried he won’t.”

I don’t have time for this, I thought. That’s when I lost it.

I unleashed some unkind words along the lines of “deal with it” or “figure it out” before turning back to the computer as well as wondering where I had stashed her teacher’s gift. My daughter turned and left, her heart bruised no doubt by the sharpness of my tone.


It was five days before Christmas and I had reached my Christmas breaking point. Perhaps you have been there, too.

I had worked that day, organized a cheese tray for her class party, sent the Secret Santa gift with her to her Girl Scout meeting, and taken her to a doctor’s appointment. I had shuttled our family to a local restaurant to support my son’s hockey team, then came home to show my husband for the 4th time where the wrapping paper and cards were (same place since we moved into the house in 2011). I had moved the elf which neither my tween or teen believed in anymore, but were sure disappointed when he didn’t move, finished baking and packaging cookies that my husband could give to his colleagues, made sure the teacher’s gift was ready, and more.

But I felt bad for snapping at her. Later, my daughter and I got silly and laughed away some stress. I think she forgave me.

Why I’m sharing this?

Just know that if you have reached your Christmas breaking point, you are not alone. I get it, and I’m sending you a hug.

I have it lucky, I know. There are moms out there doing this crazy Christmas dash as single moms. There are those who prep the teacher’s gift and bake all the cookies while caring for ill children or parents. I know there are moms who can’t send in a cheese tray because every financial resource is being saved to give their kids even half the Christmas they want to give.

To those moms and all moms this last week before Christmas, I see you.

If you have reached your Christmas breaking point, just know that you are not alone. I get it, and I’m sending you a hug.