Merry Stress-mas! Holiday Stress & Anxiety

December 15, 2022

Merry Stress-mas! Holiday Stress & Anxiety
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Shopping, cooking, entertaining, decorating and Elf on a Shelf can all cause holiday stress and anxiety. Listen to the WMF ladies discuss what stresses us out about the holidays and how we cope with it.

Medical Disclaimer 

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Holiday Stress

Christy: Hey, everybody. It's Thursday

Jamie: Our favorite day,

Christy: and it's an . It's another episode of a witch, a Mystic, and a Feminist. Yay. I'm, excited. I'm stressed out. I'm, know, taking a breath. All of the

Marlena: during the holidays,

Christy: are you ladies doing during the holidays? 

Jamie: They've already started. Huh? Does it technically start with Halloween? Is that like the precursor and then it's like boom,

Christy: I think so. Yeah. I think that's Technically when like shopping malls and stores, just start carrying like all the things through, I dunno, Valentine's

Marlena: know because before Halloween, Christmas lights were up and you know, things were, they're like, Here's your Halloween stuff, but here's some Christmas trees as well.

Jamie: Mm-hmm. selling Halloween candy with a snowman in the aisles. I'm like, It's August people. It's August.

Christy: It's August. Yeah. Slow

Jamie: a slow you. Uh,

Christy: Well, we, are talking about stress during the holiday season, um, this episode, but before we do that, I have two things. So first of all, this will be our last. Podcast episode for the year for 2022. Um, we are gonna take a break for two weeks. So the last two weeks in December, we're gonna have some, break time with our families.

Whatever we wanna do. We're just gonna have some fun and we hope you do the same. And then when we come back in 2023, we are very excited to kick off, I guess our second season. Is that what we're calling it? Okay.

Jamie: We're in season

Christy: like our second, I know our second season of a witch and a feminist got some awesome episodes lined up and.

Want you to know that we are switching from Thursdays to Tuesdays. So our new release schedule will be every Tuesday. I, I know, I know it, it changes hard, but we're just all gonna get on board. , we're gonna ride that train. We will remind you on social media, on all of our things. Tuesday's the day and you won't wanna miss our first couple episodes honestly, because um, I know we are all super psyched for what's to come and for how we're kicking off the new year.


Jamie: Clear your schedules. It's now

Christy: Um, so exactly. Tuesdays I haven't talked to you guys so . So how's it been? How's it been going? How are you guys doing?

Jamie: I'll go cuz I know Marlena , she's got the sniffles. but, uh, it's been good. It's been busy. So I started a new job, a new old job, if you will, being off for about two months. It's, uh, quite an adjustment. I adjusted pretty nicely to the stay at home mom role and now I'm back into the,

uh, work from home, stay at home, mom, everything role.

So I've been in bed probably by eight 30 most days in the last week, and that's a huge difference for me. But, I know. I know, right? Well, when you just pass that on the couch from exhaustion, I don't know if that's actually going to

bed, but, 

Marlena: Yeah, that's going to bed.

Jamie: not gonna

bed. Um, but it's, it's been good. I'm glad to be back.

I'm glad to have some extra income coming back in and, uh, kids are doing well and all the things, so, uh, yeah. Just adjusting to all of that.

Christy: Good. I mean, sounds exhausting, but 

Jamie: we're all there. 

Christy: it. Yeah. You're like, It's happening whether I want it to or not.

Jamie: How bout you?

Marlena: Uh, it's cold and flu season,

Christy: Yeah. How about

Marlena: here I am. Um, but you know, it is what it is. Uh, week's been going good though. No complaints really, except the sniffles.

Christy: Sickness. I know, but you're a trooper. You're here. You're like podcasting with us. You're recording with us, so

Marlena: I, I am here. I even, you know, put a little makeup on my face,

Jamie: We love it.

Marlena: so I don't look like death I've been, working and watching TV all day, so, you know, not bad. A great thing about having a mini adult in your house. Um, they asked me first, Do you have C And I said, No, I took a C test. I don't have covid. And then they were like, Okay, um, what can I get you from the store? And I was like, DayQuil, I would love some DayQuil.

They were like, Okay, the Poie kind or the pill kind.

Christy: Hey, . 

Jamie: You just swing on it. You just sip on it all day.

Marlena: I'm like the pill kind. Oh no. When dad got, home, I was like, Um, can I have some hot apple cider? Spiked a little bit. Thanks

Jamie: That sounds amazing. Oh.

Christy: yeah.

Marlena: Christie, how are you?

Christy: Um, I'm, I'm taking a big breath today. I've had a lot of deadlines and a lot to do and a lot of projects get pushed up and it's been stressful and overwhelming, but on a positive note, I have been like managing that a little bit better than I normally do, I think, cuz I was just like very aware that it was gonna happen.

So even on like Monday, I had a stress dream on Sunday night and then Monday morning, uh, get the kids off to school and Brian's home and I'm like, So if I snap at you today, just know that it has nothing to do with you at all. It's just the like immense amount of pressure that I'm under right now. . He's like, Okay, so maybe I just stay away.

I was like, Sure you can, but I'm just like letting you know. In advance, just in case I have, I'm gonna really try not to. So that is growth on my part because normally

Marlena: I say so.

Christy: normally I would not recognize that and I just like would snap at him and then it would just be this huge thing. So, um, so yeah, it's growth.

Marlena: But also by putting that out there, you're making yourself aware and so it's like, okay, I'm aware of this, so I'm gonna try not to do it, you know? But making them aware as well. And at that point, you're less likely to do

Christy: Oh yeah. And I didn't, and like, Monday, Tuesday, I like, I, I didn't snap at him. I didn't snap at anyone. I mean, normally my kids and my husband, they're the easiest people to snap at. So, um, yeah. That was, that was good. Was growth.

Marlena: Growth. I love it,

Jamie: Speaking of growth, I forgot to tell you guys something I wanted to tell you today. So last night I did yoga, and this morning I did yoga and meditation. Now granted last night it was right before I actually put myself to bed. It was a little 10 minute like yoga thing, but it was amazing.

Right? This morning I did a little 15 minute yoga thing, so it's, you know, very beginner.

Marlena: Mm-hmm.

Jamie: It was great, but it's fucking frustrating. And they're like, Now extend your leg back and grab it with the opposite arm and then

pull into a tiger pose. 

Christy: no, you can't do that first, like, 

Jamie: Ward, no. This is a beginner

Christy: No, that is

Marlena: no, even the beginners. No, no, no, no, no. You need to modify it to where you're able to do it. And so in the yoga classes that Christie and I take, out here, they really tell you constantly, like, if you can't do it, you can modify it like this, you can modify it like that, you know? And so you just, you modify it to where, because yeah, like I can't touch my elbow with my, Ashs 

Jamie: I was like I'm doing my best. I actually grabbed my

Christy: Oh, 

Jamie: I pulled back into Tiger Pose, but I think it was more like, um, a slouching tiger because it wasn't this like nice little circle thing with the arch and it was more like, Okay, I got my toes and I'm getting closer to the ground. But you know, I did,

Christy: I'm 

Jamie: I did what I could.

I did what I could, and her little five minute.

Marlena: and you did it. That is fantastic.

Jamie: good. I'm at a point that I really feel like I need to stretch more just physically from my body, let alone the other benefits that come with it. The breathing techniques, the, the meditation part of the yoga. That's all extra, extra benefits.

But my body alone, I just feel like, Oh my God, I need some flexibility in my life. And found this one little, I don't know, I stumbled upon it on YouTube or something. It's like seven days, very beginner morning yoga for 15 minutes and a five minute meditation. I'm like, I can do 20 minutes. Like I can do 20 minutes.

So I tried, I did it, and I felt much better about my day.

Marlena: Fantastic. Also Amazon Prime. Um, there's, and I can't remember who does it, but they have like a 30 day yoga challenge for beginners type thing. And so I actually recommended that to Vince. And so they give instruction and you know, you go through it, it's only 30 minutes and a lot of it is instruction first and figuring out the poses and stuff like that.

So like when I had Covid. I was super scared of getting blood clots because Vince had gotten blood clots. So I would take like 10 minutes, in the morning and 10 minutes at night to just kind of move around, even though like I couldn't breathe. Um, but, you know, give myself 10 minutes to where I'm moving around and, and doing some yoga.

And so I was like, okay, this is kind of perfect. And so I told Vince who's had like hip surgery and stuff like that. Um, and so he does that and it's been really helpful for him, the stretches and stuff like that. And he was like, it's perfect. And again, certain things that he just can't do.

And he was like, So I just try and modify it or I do something else, or I just sit there and watch until

Christy: Oh

Marlena: the next thing.

Jamie: All right. Go into, what is it called? Vinyasa pose, where you just lay on the ground. Which one is that? Where you just lay on the ground

Christy: Sheba.

Jamie: and that was, Sure, That's it. Whatever. Where you just like laying there palms up and you

just lay there, palms up and just relax. I


Christy: honoring your body in that

Jamie: so when I can't do a pose, I just lay on the ground,

Christy: That's what I 

Jamie: my body. 

Christy: You're good.

Marlena: normally just sit there and start meditating and trying to catch my breath and cuz sometimes those classes are intimidating, Like when going to a live class and you have all of these people that can like, hold themselves with one hand, you know, and their whole body is up in the air.

And I'm just like, okay, don't get intimidated. Don't, don't allow this to allow you to quit, kind of thing. So, um, and I just have to remind myself that because the world is not a competition yet, it is in my brain and I'm like, why can't I do

Jamie: Well, it's like CrossFit, right? Christie? Like how intimidating is that to walk into and then finally accepting that I don't need to be on their level. I just need to be on my level and do what's best for me. And it's, it's, that's a hard, that's a hard thing to like overcome. So it was easier doing it in my own loft with myself and my dog.

So that made it easier. 

Christy: But then once you, yeah, once you like accept that it's just you against you, not you against others, then you're like, I'm pretty fucking badass cuz like a month ago I can do that and now I can and you know, or I'm lifting heavier than I ever had before, like whatever. So yeah, when I'm in yoga classes with other people I'm like, I could care less what you guys are doing cuz I'm fucking badass and I know it.

and so, and I'm here. That's all. So we're good. . Yes,

Marlena: me, not for anybody

Jamie: that's what I had to share. I meant to share that in.

Christy: I love, yes. I'm

Marlena: love that and I'm proud of you, and I'm happy for you.

Jamie: wore my beats today that my friend made for me. Our special friend, our, our mystic

unicorn from 

Christy: Missed.

Jamie: you know who that is?

Christy: I do. 

Jamie: She made 

Christy: love her.

Jamie: Yes. I love her too.

Christy: Yeah. Um, so, okay, so, um, is that it? No, I'm just kidding. Okay, so the episode we talked a little bit at the beginning, the holidays are here. It can be very stressful. and there's a lot that goes into the holidays, and especially with us being wives and mothers and all sorts of things to many different people, um, we can sometimes take on way too much.

And I guess I shouldn't just say mothers, because some fathers take on all the things as well. so everyone just, this is for all of y'all, um, , but 

Jamie: for everybody. 

Christy: for everybody. Um, but you know, we're gonna talk a little bit about, you know, the different stresses and then kind of what we do to combat those stresses.

Um, to kinda, help you through it and walk you through it. Maybe, uh, give you some ideas maybe you didn't think about before. I mean, it's the most wonderful time of the year, 

Jamie: It is, right? I mean, Christie, I don't even know what you mean. Stress during the holidays.

Christy: No. Uh, 

Jamie: That's a fable. . That's a lie. it's all warm 

Christy: magical. Yeah.

Jamie: But you know, holidays aren't like the commercials in the movies because guess what? There's actual stress that gets put on us. And I honestly feel it's a lot coming from social media. Again, movies, Hollywood, commercial, the expectations that are put onto us as parents, as adults, that we have to tend to, that is set the bar for us to maintain and uphold every single year, which could cause a lot of stress, a lot of dread, let's be honest.

Depression, solitude, that's loneliness. Um, there's a lot of traumatizing things that can come with the holiday season,

Christy: Yeah. So it's not magical for all,

Jamie: not all. And now you can have magical moments, but

Christy: Yes.

Jamie: be honest, there can be a lot of stress put on our shoulders.

Christy: Yes. Um, and some of those ways that stress shows up in the holidays, one of them, Shopping. Right? All the shopping , um, you know, and there's people that love the shopping and there's people who get their shopping done in October and occasionally, I'm one of the people that get their shopping done before Thanksgiving occasionally.

But I also love lists. And so if I can make a good list and I can cross stuff off said list, I am a happy, happy person. Um, but occasionally there is no plan for me. You know? So like I'm shopping for all these people on my list and I don't have a plan. It's, it's not, it's not fun. . I also don't like going to physical stores because I think it's a waste of my time.

And I'd rather if I know, like, especially when I know exactly what I wanna get the person I wanna buy it, and I want it to be here in two

Jamie: Mm-hmm.

Christy: That's want

Marlena: get that. I hate, I hate shopping. I hate shopping. Um, but I'll do some online shopping, but sometimes I'm like looking at Amazon or different stores, um, trying to find the best deal. And I find that if I have to go in and I can get a better deal, then I'll go and do that. But then I also see things that like, say I'll like, and so I'm like, One for you, two for me.

And, you know, then I get home and VI is like, What did you buy? And I was like, Christmas presents. And he was like, For yourself? I'm like, They're from you. I don't know. Um, yeah. But it, like this year is, Tougher for me shopping because the kid is older and it was such a big year this year with graduation and turning 18 and things like that, that a lot of big presents were already given to them.

And then other family members, kids, you know, they are also older. And so I'm like, do I just throw money at them? You know, kind of thing. And, and so like, I really do like to put a lot of thought and, and try and give thoughtful gifts, but when the holidays sneak up on me or you know, all of a sudden I'm like, What do you mean it's the middle of November and I haven't even started my Christmas shopping. 

Jamie: I'm there with you too. I absolutely hate, I hate shopping. I, I am that person that I don't like it being designated for one time a year or two. Right. Birthdays and Christmas, you feel the obligation to do a gift, and I don't like that feeling. I like the feeling of, if I find. While I'm out and about or something pops in my head because Marlena mentioned she really wanted this crystal, and I, I come across it or I find one that's perfect.

I'm gonna buy it for her if it's in the middle of March and it's not on a very special day because I know she wants, and I want it to be thoughtful for me, I don't like the forced obligation to have to find a gift. You want it to be thoughtful, you want it to be special, and then you resort to cash or a gift card, which I don't think is horrible because again, all my, all the kids we buy for are like adults now.

Pretty much. So, but I just, I don't like that obligation. I, I would rather do something throughout the year when I know I come across something I'm like, Oh my God, Christie would love

that, you know, 

Marlena: Well, last year. My kid was working retail, They will be working retail again this year, but called me up and it's probably about 45 minutes past their shift. Called me up crying, saying I cannot find parking.

Jamie: Hmm.

Christy: Ah. Oh no.

Marlena: just, it was like super stressed out.

So my mom and I jump in the car, go down there and this kid literally stopped traffic and was like, I'm not turning, I'm not going 

Jamie: Mm-hmm. 

Marlena: Like people are honking at them. Everything. My mom jumps into their car, they finally are able to get out and go to their shop. But it was such a stressful thing for them.

. So one of the things we ended up doing last year was on the weekends, Vince or I would take them to work and pick them up and, you know, that way there was less stress. 

Jamie: Mad respect to you all work in retail. I feel your

pain. Teenagers, adults. I feel your pain. We all do. We get it. And then of course, if, I mean, forget the shopping for a minute.

You might be shopping for presents or you could be shopping for groceries because guess what?

Christy: Oh, true.

Jamie: All the cooking, especially if you're the hostess, right? The hostess. With the hostess. you might be hosting Christmas dinner, Christmas Eve dinner, a holiday party, whatever it might be, a gift exchange.

Oh, we can't forget New Year's cuz that's a week after Christmas. So all the cooking and all I have to say about cooking is I'm a lucky duck. I don't have to worry about it cuz my husband loves to cook. I hate it. And he doesn't want me in the kitchen. I clean. So that's all I have to say. I worry about everything else.

He worries about the food, I worry about the cleaning up, the whatever. So that's all I have to say about cooking.

Christy: I'm, I'm kind of in the same boat with you. Cooking doesn't bring me the amount of joy that it probably should, so it just feels like work to me.

Jamie: Agreed.

Christy: like occasionally I'll get in the groove with something, but I would rather, I don't know, I would rather like decorate

I would rather pretty much do anything else. Um, I like planning the menu, but I don't like executing the menu

Jamie: This is

what you're going to cook. Brian

Christy: Right. I mean, it's like, so I like doing that, but I am definitely not, Yeah. It's, it's not my

Jamie: Yeah.

Marlena: And Vince and the kid and I, we do our own like intimate little Christmas Eve. Um, and so Vince, a lot of times we'll cook for that and I'll, I'll cook the sides and we're in the kitchen together and, you know, just having fun. So I actually don't mind it. I love it. It's um,

Christy: That's awesome.

Marlena: it's a, it's a lot of fun for me.

And I grew up watching my mom do all of the Christmases and, Christmas parties and doing all the cooking and stuff like that. And that was before I even knew how to cook. And so just kind watching her do that. Um, Me being an adult and doing that, now I get that same joy.

So I actually enjoy it. And the shopping for those holidays and for baking and cooking, and I'm just kidding. I don't bake. Um, but for, for cooking, I do a lot of my grocery shopping at night, and sometimes I would do it late at night since Covid, you know, grocery stores aren't o open as late any longer.

But I'll s I'll still do it at night.

Jamie: I really, I really appreciate those, especially with you, Marlena, saying how much you enjoy it. Now, even throughout the year, I've seen you, you know, post meals and things that you've made, and I'm, I'm blown away. I love the passion that my husband has for cooking. I really do. And I remember, um, posting something one time on Facebook.

He was traveling and I decided to make a steak. I don't know, I don't even know how to work a barbecue, so I'm like, Oh, we have a skillet. You know, I know how to, I can do this. It was horrible. It was the worst steak I've ever had. But, um, I just remember posting it and saying like, this is why I don't cook.

I one don't enjoy it. Two, I don't know how to control my seasonings cuz everything needs more salt and pepper. And three, apparently I can almost start a grease fire cooking a skillet in a pan or cooking a steak in a skillet or, you know what I mean? But anyways, it just was like, and I remember people like, Oh, you should try this cooking class.

I'm like, I don't even wanna learn. Like, I don't have this desire. I, I don't, there's not even an inkling in me that wants to learn and they're like, Oh, you would love it, blah, blah. So I really, I respect the people that love doing it and, and get something out of it other than just making food to eat. Like they truly enjoy it.

Chad truly enjoys cooking, will make pasta from scratch, wants to spend five hours in the kitchen just making one dinner. He loves it. He gets pure joy from it. So I respect that and I'm glad that you find joy in

that. So that's, that's awesome.

Christy: I was gonna say, we all bring a lot to the table, but Marlena brings dinner,

Jamie: Brings the

Christy: We just bring other things like humor and inappropriate jokes.

Jamie: just go sit with her in the kitchen while she cooks.

Marlena: I bring those two

Christy: That's true. You do. You got it all.

Jamie: love it. I love it. So of course we have the cooking, and then with the cooking and the entertaining, right? Comes spending all the time with everyone. So while you're doing all these things, cooking, decorating, buying, all the gifts,

Christy: gift 

Jamie: drinking anyways, um, but now you want and you want to, and are at times expected to spend the time with all the. All the people, and some of us have very large families, some of us have a lot of extended families. I have a lot of family that aren't even blood related that I wanna spend my time with because that's how close they are, hence the two ladies that are on this podcast with me. But it becomes a lot of pressure. It's a lot of pressure to do all the things.

Christy: And it's, I won't say I'm weird, but I am weird. Um, that like I need. People, Right? I need connection. I need to go out, I need to have a good time. But I also have like a hard stop. So like I, I reach that point and I'm like, I gotta go home. I'm done. I, I'm burnt out. I'm like, I have no more energy for people.

So the holidays is like, it's, it could be very challenging for me, uh, because I love spending time with everybody, you know? So Thanksgiving is like, I will say my favorite holiday too, because it's the holiday where you're not spending money on gifts for people. You're just gathering, you're just spending time together.

You're just, it's just quality time with family and friends and whoever. Um, That is just like the kickoff. And so after that, you've just got like four weeks of then 

Jamie: Mm-hmm. 

Christy: stuff, right? Constant parties and constant events and constant people and possibly people you don't really wanna spend time with at parties you don't really wanna go to, but you have to.

It's an obligation. Um, so I tend to get burnt out pretty quickly, and I always have to like make, like, I have to have like a day in between functions. A lot of times. Like I've gotta have some downtime where I'm just sitting on the couch or I'm doing what I wanna do, um, because I, I need to recharge.

Otherwise I go to, I go to the party or I go to the event and I'm just like, 

Jamie: Yeah,

Christy: you know, , that's not, I don't wanna drag anyone else down, but it's, I get tired. I get just burnt out from just the interaction. So,

Marlena: I totally get that because, uh, you know, I, I need a break too. It's just like, you know, constant, nonstop. And so even before I learned, you know, figured out what boundaries were or whatnot, if I didn't wanna do something, I'm like, Yeah, I'm

Jamie: Mm-hmm.

Marlena: And so I, I just wouldn't go if I wasn't feeling it, or, and even if it were that morning, and I'm like, I don't feel like doing anything today and so I'm not going to. And so, you know, during the holidays, I, I would give myself that. That break, you know, and that option to bail out of something if I didn't wanna do it, you know?

And so, yeah, I've always been really

Christy: I,

Marlena: no

Christy: Well, I was just gonna say, I, I find that pretty, very admirable because up until recently I did not have that same, like, I couldn't do that. You know, Even if I was like, I don't need to, like, I physically need to stay home, , I need to like recoup, I need to take care of me. I would still force myself or I would still like, No, it's important and, you know, sure.

But, um, but at the same time now I realize like it doesn't do anyone, any, sort, any good right to go someplace that number one, maybe you don't wanna be number two, it's an energy suck. Number three, maybe. I don't know. You're just burnt out and you need to take care of yourself. I mean, whatever your reason.

Um, but like you said, you don't have to have a real reason. You could just be like, No, I'm not feeling it. I, I, I

Jamie: And I'm


gonna do it

Christy: So

Jamie: and you, and you can't make me

Marlena: me.

Jamie: Do what you want. Um, yeah, I

definitely feel the pressure and, and moving to Las Vegas has like, made that pressure even more intense 

And of course during Christmas and when it's during the holidays. Chad and I both work from home, so we don't necessarily have to take time off. We can take our jobs with us. We're trying, trying to work, traveling planes gifts, bringing gifts home, finding all the stops that we have to go to, that we wanna go to.

It's great to see everyone and I'm so grateful when we get to do it, but it has made our holidays 10 times more stressful because we're trying to make it all work.

We're trying to make it all work this year. We are going to be coming home the weekend before, cuz we're gonna keep Christmas here this year with the majority of of Chad's family coming, to town. 

Um, but still we have the added pressure of, you know, the weekend before. And I can't wait to see my family. I can't wait to see everyone. I'm gonna see. But it, it's stressful. 

 Trying to be everywhere with everyone.

And, and we kind of touched on a little bit, but also again, the holiday parties, right? So the obligations of being at all the parties and I know Marlena, you've had. Lots of travels for certain holiday parties.

Marlena: Yeah, so a former company of mine that I worked for, a former firm, um, all of the holiday parties were in St. Louis. And so to go out to St. Louis. In the middle of December it's like Antarctica out there. Um, especially coming from California, you're like, What is this white stuff?

But I would travel out there for that. Um, now with the firm that I'm at, I'm hosting all of these parties, so, preparing it for not only, our company holiday party, but then, we have like Spirit week and we have, all of that stuff and having to plan all of that.

 But, there were times where my company holiday party, which I didn't even wanna be at because I'm like, I see you guys all the time, and I'd rather go to my friend's Christmas party or, you know, a family Christmas party.

 I felt obligated to go and spend time with people that I didn't wanna spend time with. And really that's one of the times when I really started saying no. Um, so every other year, not go to the company Christmas parties so that I could be home and go to other Christmas parties or do whatever I wanted to do or just lay on my damn couch

Jamie: Have your own party at home

Marlena: curled up with a blanket.


Jamie: with you,

yourself and the And yeah, you

Marlena: yeah.

Christy: Yeah. 

Jamie: you.

yourself and me. You wait, I, No. Anyways. Sometimes

me, sometimes

Christy: Yeah. There you go. I was 

Marlena: sometimes I'm curled up with you. It's, I I


Christy: don't think she'd 

Jamie: I have, I have traveled home and me and Marlene have sat on the couch watching TV and drinking, and that's what we do because we need to veg.

We need to veg together. Oh gosh, yes. The.

Marlena: know. Do we wanna go to this party? I don't think we do. 

Jamie: no. You know how much it's gonna cost. Get an Uber, let's just stay home. We'll just stay here

Christy: But to stay home.

Marlena: exactly.

Jamie: Let's just talk about the decorating for a second. Cuz I don't really, I try and find enjoyment in decorating. I do like putting up my tree, but once that's done, I'm like, Nah, I'm good.

You know, there's a few family heirlooms I like to put out and then I can call it a day. I can be done. I would be good with that. I'm, I'm just like, Marlene had said just a little bit ago, I'm not that crafty DIY mom, let's do all the things. I look at a Pottery Barn catalog and think, why can't I do this?

And then I try and I can't do it. I just can't. I am not, I'm not good. The decorating's hard for me. It's so hard.

Christy: like, I mean, I like decorated and I'm not, well, I shouldn't say I'm not a diy, I'm a quasi diy. I'll, I'll, I'll, I'll claim it like half. Um, but I do enjoy it a little bit. I think. Um, I think maybe cuz my youngest loves it as well and so I'm like, so cuz like this year I didn't wanna decorate for Halloween, it was just too much.

And then he's like, But we have to decorate, we decorate it for year. And I'm like, Who did this to you? And I'm like, Oh, I did this to you . I'm like, like bite me the ass. But, um, but I do love decorating for Christmas. Um, I don't know, it just feels like cozy and like, I don't know, it's just like that, like movie Christmas feeling when I'm done.

Um, , but I do it in stages, so it's not like I'm trying to bite off more than I can chew. Um, the one thing I will not do, and this may really like, we might lose some listers after this. I don't do the elf, so the elf on the shelf can just 

Jamie: can go 

Christy: I'm so sorry, . I know there are some people who love it.

And like we were saying, if you take joy in moving that elf and creating scenes for that elf every single night, awesome. Kudos to you that that is like admirable. It's just not something I can do because that would add way more stress onto an already stressful situation. And I already know that probably two days in that elf would go nowhere.

That elf would just live where he was for the rest of the time. And if my kid touched. 

Jamie: Oh, my kids touched 

Christy: I just, I, I couldn't live up to it. Yeah. , I, I wouldn't be able to live up to it. So kudos to those of you who really love up on the shelf, because you have to love that. You've gotta love that tradition in order to do it.

Cause that's years, years of doing that for your

Marlena: I never did

Christy: every single night.

Marlena: I never did it. And my kid was like, Why don't we have an EL on the shelf? And I was like, Cuz they don't have that in Guam the Philippines. And so, and I just left it at that . So

Christy: That's

Marlena: I was like, yeah. And mainly it was just because I'm like, I don't fucking do that. Um, so I just, you know, told, told them that, that's why.

Christy: Yeah. I mean, I'm amazed by some of the pictures that people post of like the different scenes that their, or different hygienes their elf 

Jamie: got, I got sucked in. I got sucked in. I got sucked into

the, I got sucked into the, This is my only child I'm ever gonna have, because we didn't, we weren't planning on having any more children after our first, And I'm like, I'm just gonna do it. And this was like the thing, I don't ever remember this as a child.

Like we never had that dang of.

Marlena: didn't have

Jamie: We just knew, we just had the, always the guilt of Santa's watching, you know? But, We never had this

dang elf 

Christy: it. That was enough 

Jamie: spy in your house that would move secretly all over the place. And I just, I bought into it. I caved. Here's my kid who's like three years old and here's about this elf somehow.

And I'm like, Okay, let's do it. So let's see. That was when he was three, he's now 15 and my daughter's 10. So I've been doing it for quite some time. 

Christy: Oh, well that's 

Jamie: he, he Again, like you all said, I give credit to those that find joy in doing it. I have tons of friends who post amazing pictures and again, that whole um, inner critic and, and snarky bitch that says, You're not good enough.

Look what you're not doing with your elf. Yeah, that kicks in sometimes too, but whatever that l will

Marlena: Yeah, I get that inter

Christy: But whatever

Marlena: telling me you're not good enough at, you know, decorating or whatever, and I'm like, Damn. Right. Damn, Skippy. I am not

Christy: you are correct. Inner critic

Jamie: you're like, That's okay. I can live with this, Uh,

Marlena: I'm fine 

Jamie: So Um, . Well, and of course, because there's so much added pressure to us and stress and all the things we have to do, we can't forget that there are also moments of sadness.

Loneliness and, and especially in times when we've lost people that we loved. Um, I just had a friend lose her for baby, and she's really struggling and I know that this holiday's gonna be really, really hard for her, but there are times that are going to be. Not only mentally stressful, but mentally sad depression, if you will.

And that happens a lot for a lot of people. I know for myself, um, this year will be extra challenging with the loss of, um, a lot of wonderful people this year and especially our, my mother-in-law. Um, it's, it's the year of first, so you know, it's gonna be the year, first year without her at Christmas. And also Aunt Kathy who would normally celebrate with us 

Um, I'm not quite sure how it's going to be. So as much as I look forward to the holidays, I'm hoping this is gonna sound really bad, I'm hoping to move past them pretty fast because this is gonna be a really a tough year. 

Marlena: One of the things that Vince and I did, um, after his dad passed, uh, we. Started a tradition. And so this has been the tradition that we do every single year since his dad passed. We get a container of Almond Roka. We, that's gonna be the first present under the tree every single year. So we, uh, decorate the tree and then we get this can of Almond Roka and put a bow on it, and that's the first thing under the tree.

So before we even start wrapping presents or any other presents go under the tree, that's what goes under there first. And it's become a really, you know, awesome tradition for us where, you know, it's, it is, he's there and we're really excited and that's how we kick off Christmas for us. Um, you know, so it's, it's pretty cool.

And one year I almost forgot and I had wrapped some presents and. Went to go put them under the tree and then tossed it across the room. And Vince is like, What are you doing? I was like, I forgot the Almond Roca. And so I like booked out, uh, to the store, went and picked it up and came back and he was like, But you could have picked that up.

And I'm like, Yeah, you too. I'm like, But here's the Alman ros under the tree. Now we can put it back , or we can put it, you know, put the presence under, under the tree. And so, and every year I'll take a picture of the Alman Roca under the tree every single year. So, you know, it's just something we've been doing.

So I wanna say 

Jamie: wow. I like that. We, maybe ours will be frosting in.

Christy: Yeah.

Jamie: Pancakes, pancakes for


Marlena: you just try,

Christy: Yeah.

Marlena: you just try and find things, you know, certain traditions that, you know, bring them. You know, they're still there. So to, to have those traditions, um, you know, I, that's the one that, that really stuck with us and, and, uh, we enjoy it. And so, like, even now he was like, Should I get the Almond Roka now?

And I was like, Christmas tree isn't going up yet. Um,

Jamie: I love it.

Marlena: but yeah, so, you know, sometimes that helps with that, uh, sadness, you know, during the holidays, just my 2 cents.

Jamie: Yeah. So. Again, if you're ever feeling at a point where you need someone to talk to, you know, there are people out there who are, are available 24 7. We've discussed another podcast and I know, you know, we always have it in our notes, but you never have to be alone. And, and, and people can relate. A lot of people are going through lonely, Excuse me, sorry mom, I couldn't pronounce that.


Marlena: And I remember in 2019, threw a karate tournament in like, you know, into the mix and it was in the middle of December in Puerto Rico. And so, you know, because why not? Because there's not enough stress in December. Let's throw a karate tournament in it. But actually that was such an amazing trip, but.

You know, I didn't have my Christmas tree up before we left, and I didn't have all, all of my Christmas shopping done. And so by the time I got back I was like, I have to do all of this stuff now in a shortened amount of time, and ended up getting in a car accident as well. And so I had this post that, uh, that I had put up that said the Christmas, It's Christmas Eve, my tree is only half decorated.

I just finished Christmas shopping five minutes ago. I only have half of my presents wrapped. I had to take my car in today because to get the bumper replaced because I was rear-ended the other day on my way home from work. My husband's at work and for a minute I began to feel overwhelmed and anxious.

But my tree is only half decorated because we were in Puerto Rico, which was amazing, and I have a tree to put all of these Christmas presents under. No one was injured in the accident. And I have other cars to drive while my car is being worked on. My husband has a great job that he enjoys, and when he gets home, we will fe like kings sometimes.

I just need to calm my mind. And remember, I have an amazingly blessed life. And that was before my spiritual awakening. That was before, my wanting to be more positive of me, more grateful, and, still in, very much a pessimistic frame of mind,

um, but you know, I saw that and I was like, I'm actually pretty proud of myself for thinking about that even then, before everything.

Christy: Yeah.

Marlena: And I have to remind myself to continue to think that way, that, it's okay to not get everything done. It's okay to, have your tree only half decorated, it's okay to just take time for yourself.

 You know, and that vacation was one of our best vacations ever, you know, And, and so there

Jamie: So, um, it's okay to, you know, not be okay, . It's okay. there, So 

Christy: there.

Marlena: there,


You, I mean, you mentioned it's okay to, not get everything done, to not have everything picture perfect and it absolutely is. Right? Your, this season, especially all the holidays, should be exactly what you want them to be. Right? And I'm not talking about, I want Pottery Barn, you know, cover, like, I'm not talking that I'm talking what do you really want and who do you really wanna spend the time with, and what do you wanna get out of it?

Is it just to gather with the people that you love the most? Then do that, focus on that, right? Don't do gifts. I mean, I know that's hard when you have kids, but like, don't do big gifts or, I don't know, like you can, you can make it what you want it to be. You don't have to subscribe to any sort of commercialism.

Um, which we all get sucked into. Um, so just keep that in mind as, as you know, everything approaches and if you're feeling overwhelmed and stressed, I mean, cuz I know my big thing is I like spending time with the people that mean the most to me. And I also like dressing up occasionally. So like, if somebody has a really formal like Christmas event or like New Year's event, I will totally go cause I wanna like buy a pretty dress.

But besides those two things, um, like those are what's important to me. Um, you know, I could honestly do without gifts. I'm an adult, I can buy myself whatever I want, right? Um, my husband on the other hand loves getting gifts, gift loves getting gifts. Um, it is one of his love languages. So like, and I know that about him.

So that's, that's great. And to make his holiday magical, Yes, I will get him gifts, but for me, give me time with the people that like, give me like a whole day with. You know, one side of the family, like, just let me do that and we can sit and drink and talk and laugh and play games, and I will be the happiest that you've seen me.

I mean, but everyone is different. So, um, yeah, that's my two sense of, you know, what you can do to kind of combat the stress. is, and, and part of that is set setting boundaries, right? Because if you have a family or you have friends or people in your life that are, no, it has to be this way, or this is the tradition we've always done, and you're like, Whoa, it's too much for me, or it's too much for us, You know, I'm tired.

I get, I'm burnt out. Then part of that is the first step is setting the boundary, right? And, and then moving on from there and creating your own traditions and your, you know, the own, your own magical things for 

Jamie: And I, I think what comes along with that too is there is added pressure when you wanna start your own traditions, right? Especially when we start our own families and, sorry mom or the moms in the world, I'm not trying to knock you, but when they have their traditions set and it's, you know, you're here on one night, here on another night, it's hard to pull back and make your own traditions.

So we're very torn and it's very. To pull and shift and say, I'm setting these boundaries because I need sanity at Christmas and New Year's, and I want my kids to be able to enjoy their time, not only with family, but at home too, where it's peaceful and they're not running from place to place place.

So it's hard. But we, we are also working on setting our boundaries to help. Release and work through the pressures of, of the holidays. Um, I mean, there's always a lot of things that we can do to try and alleviate the stress and pressure, even though we feel it all the time. Always. Of course, you know, if you're feeling that stress, you're feeling that loneliness, that depression, you know, acknowledge your feelings.

It's okay. It's okay to feel that way. Don't feel guilty. Don't feel mad at yourself because, Oh, I should want to go do this. I should want to go do that. I should want to go do all the shopping for everyone. It's okay to say I'm not okay. I, I don't want, do all the things. Acknowledge your feelings, you know, and reach out to someone that's close to you, someone that you can confide in.

Um, even if it's not someone you know. Again, we've mentioned there's a lot of support lifelines out there. Online phone calls, if you're feeling that loneliness, that depression, the stress, you know, reach out. It's okay to confide in people. And that's, and that's what we need to do. It's the bonding experience.

Right. And you know, of course when it comes to the holidays, be real. Be realistic

like, just be realistic with your expectations. If you want one, do all the things. Don't do all the things.

Christy: And if you wanna spend time with people, you don't have to do it just at Christmas

Jamie: Yeah.

Christy: Just a thought. You can do it like in January. You could do it in, You can do it any time you want. You could probably even orchestrate it like, I don't know, in March. I'm just, that's a wild idea. But that's something that like I'm trying to do to like myself, right?

It's more of like, okay, well why am I waiting? Other than that's.

Jamie: Yeah. . Yeah.

Christy: to get together with family, right? So let's do it in a different month, right? Let's push it into January so that everyone can breathe. And we've done that a couple times with my extended family. Um, we've pushed that party into January so that we can all do what we need to do.

And then by the time that comes, it's kind of a nice little, like, Oh, well, we've had like three weeks of a break. You know, We, we haven't really seen any, like, we haven't really done anything in three weeks. And oh, it's awesome to see you all instead of like, Huh, hi, you know, like, I'm tired,

Jamie: I'm

Christy: It's just a different experience.

Jamie: I'm exhausted. I will say that I appreciate my mom, um, growing up when my brother and I both, you know, got engaged and were married and all the things, she really accommodated the other families. But what she would do is like, we'll just do ours. Early Thanksgiving was a perfect example. 

It's one day where Christmas, you get Christmas Eve, Christmas day, and then you just have to figure it out. 

And I appreciate that because again, it's not about necessarily that day, on that day, it's being with the

Christy: Right. It's

Jamie: celebrating whatever it might be. So, I say be flexible. Be flexible. That's why we're celebrating Christmas back at home the weekend before. Cuz my family's being flexible. Yeah. Oh, and I think, you know, we've touched on a lot of these too, but take a breather.

You know, you need to breathe, you need to, uh, you know, have a Netflix night or a movie night with yourself and the kids. Go play video games just because you need a break, Take a breather. It's okay. You need it. You absolutely need it. And I think another one that, um, is really important too, that I always feel really good about during the holiday season, we should do it year round, but particularly during the holiday season, is donating, volunteering, um, putting in our time or money into community efforts.

Um, and I know that's important to both of you as well.

Christy: Mm-hmm.

Marlena: Um, I always donate. Um, in, in November, Vince and I start talking about where we want to donate. Um, this year it's uh, the Alameda County Food Bank, um, Make-A-Wish Foundation, uh, Wounded Warriors. Those are like, and, uh, the, uh, A S P C A, um, I always have to donate to, to the animals. And then, um, I also wanna donate to the shelter where we got coa.

So, um, but like one of the things that I did last year, um, my niece was living with us, um, and my kid was working at the time too, so, um, I made a request that each, you know, we all donated to, um, the Alameda County, uh, food bank, um, you know, 25 or $50, you know, for them.

And then Vincent and I put in our donation separately as well. But just to start getting used to being able to give back. Um,

Christy: Yes,

Marlena: you know, we're in a position where we are blessed where we can, you know, monetarily donate. Um, another thing that I'm doing with work and, and I've always, uh, donated, but, um, to be able to organize a toys for, to toys for tot strive, um, I love doing that.

I'm really excited about doing that again this year. Um, and, but like each year, The kid and I, we would go shopping and take those toys to the fire station. And so, um, last year I, uh, organized a drive myself. So that was, that was a lot of fun. And then being able to take the toys over to the warehouse and speak to, to veterans and, and stuff, and, you know, just to listen to their stories and, and stuff.

It was just, it was, it was fantastic. And so I'm excited to do that again this year.

Christy: Yeah, my kids love donating to Toys for Tots when they were really little. Um, my parents would take them to like target. Right. And have them pick out a toy. And it was really difficult for them to understand because they're picking out this toy that they're kind of excited about. And you know, their grandparents are like, Yeah, but this isn't for you

 I don't think they had like a huge issue, but like the understanding of what was going on, right? Like, okay, we're buying this toy. It's not for me, even though I picked it out and we're going to the fire station, right? And we're dropping it off or wherever we're dropping it off and then we're leaving.

But now whenever we see a toys for Hot Spin, it's an immediate like, You know, my kid will be like, Okay, well then we need to go shopping and we need to get a toy and then bring it back here. 


I think, um, during the holidays, like you guys have both said, it's just doing something so simple gives us such a sense of community and involvement. And if we pass that down to our children, they'll do the same. And for me, it's, it's just so huge. We've always done, uh, very similar things. We've done the angel trees.

I remember going into like Macy's, right?

Christy: Oh, yeah.

Jamie: and you go buy the gifts. And I remember my son being really young and having a good time. for someone else. Like he, he would pull the list off the tree, Okay mom, we gotta go get this, this, and this. We've done, um, the shoe boxes or the Christmas boxes at church, uh, we've gone to church and you know, you pick a box and you have, uh, kids list and you fill the the box up.

And, um, we've done the adoptive families where you can, you know, adopt one family, you have their list. We've always loved doing that and we've done it at work. Um, not the job I'm at, but in my former career with another company, we would do, our department would do an adoptive family every year. And it's just so, um, heartfelt and um, you just get this sense of you're doing something for someone who doesn't have as much as you, and it's your time to give back.

And I've always tried to instill that in my children. So this year I wanna do like a soup kitchen. I really want them to serve, you know, I really feel it's important for them to see and to be that person serving someone else who, who meets it.

Um, it is important to provide things that they need, but I need them to really feel that sense of service other than, here, Mom, put this on your card and let's go give it to them. That's great. And people need these things, but I need them to feel the sense of, I'm serving you. I want them to see what a lot of our community is experiencing.

And I, I do have some friends, um, from high school that have posted it every year on Facebook where they go once a year, and I think it's between Thanksgiving and Christmas, but they will go buy like, I don't know, two, let's say $200 of McDonald's foods. and they will literally walk through like homeless camps with several people in their, in their group handing out meals, warm meals to these people.

And that just blows me away. And they take their children with them and their children get this sense of, I'm feeding my community, I'm giving something back to these people who are literally living on the streets and may not have a warm meal tonight. Um, I want my children to feel that. So I'm hoping this year to do a, a soup kitchen type thing or you know, handing out, um, where you can make bags of like necessities, supplies and stuff for the homeless and actually hand them out.

Marlena: That's what I've had my kid's do in the past as well. Um, we've put together, a number of care packages, and, it was important for me to have them. Pass them out and, uh, having sandwiches and stuff. I remember when I was working out in Oakland and during, uh, some of my kids' breaks, I'd take them to work with me and there was one homeless guy every time we would, uh, turn a corner at a stoplight.

And so as I was getting ready for work, they would make that person lunch and as were stopped at the light, you know, hand them their lunch. Um, so, you know, it's, it, you know, it doesn't necessarily need to be 

Jamie: yeah, exactly. 

Marlena: it time of the

Jamie: I have a friend that when her children would act out, And, and she felt, okay, you're feeling a little overprivileged right now. You're feeling a little, spoiled, Guess what? We're gonna go take some meals over here and has taken our kids for an ounce of perspective of like, this is what you need to be grateful for, and now you're going to go serve these people who don't even have a roof over their head.

This is what you're gonna do. And I just appreciate the, the rawness of it and the reality, because we can get wrapped up in our own worlds of all the things that we have. And, you know, my kid wants this now, my kid wants that. Well, some people just want like a meal. So, yes, absolutely. It doesn't need to be during the holidays only, It can be year round.

If you can, get yourself involved in the community and maybe your children, if you have children, um, I promise you it, it won't let you down. It'll definitely fill your cup, it will fill your cup.

Marlena: And even just spending one day paying it forward.

Jamie: Buy the

Starbucks behind you 

Marlena: Right. You know, I mean, just, it's just those little things where you pay it forward, um, that can really, you know, one, make someone else's day and it makes your day knowing that you made somebody else's day and then, you know, have it continue to, you know.

Trickle on and you know, so, I mean, there's, there's so many things that

Jamie: I love the pay it forward. I mean mention Starbucks or drive-throughs or whatever. And I love when I hear like, Oh, it went 50 people deep. Like that's just awesome. Like that warms my heart to tears. 

Christy: Are we ready to wrap it up, ladies?

Jamie: Mm-hmm.

Marlena: Sorry.

Christy: You're like, Please, please.

Marlena: I'm looking like Rudolph right now and,

Christy: it's okay. Well, I can't see it. It's, that's good. Um, you do look, you look fantastic. Uh, . Um, uh, okay. So, you know, we've kind of, I don't know, shown you our inner workings during the holiday season. Um, but I think we've also given you, you know, some maybe useful things.

Um, you know, setting boundaries and taking space and, um, you know, just breathing. Um, and as always, if this time of the year is particularly challenging for you, um, and it's not joyful and it never has been, or maybe it's just not this time, um, there is help out there and there are people willing to listen and willing to help you through.

Um, so please reach out, um, in. You know, and take advantage of that please. Um, we know that the holidays are not always a joyous time for everybody. Um, but you know, here we go into the stress of the season and we are all gonna take our own advice and we are going to be less overwhelmed and less stressful.

Um, for the remainder of the year, we're gonna enjoy ourselves, maybe put on a fancy frock and go to a fancy party. We don't know, we'll see. Or we might cuddle up together and just like drink and watch tv. So, um, but you won't know until we come back after the new year in 2023 with season two of a witch, a mystic and a feminist on Tuesdays.

So don't forget, we come back on Tuesdays after the new year. Enjoy your time with your loved ones. Whatever you're doing this holiday season, just enjoy it to the absolute fullest and we will see you in 2023.