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"Take a bus, take a train or go & hop an airplane..."

This is one of my favorite Christmas songs. It reminds me of being a little kid in our old 16 passenger van driving with my parents, siblings and cousins to Pennsylvania. We used to all sing songs together to make the long trip go more quickly.

Many of us will be traveling this holiday season. This year, "There's no place like home for the holidays," will be me. Well for the most part, I can't stay in one place too long.

The holidays are a wonderful time of year, but they can also be a great source of stress. We have come to believe that Christmas must be perfect. Your house must be clean and beautifully decorated. Your children well dressed and well behaved. All the Christmas presents are perfectly chosen. This is not reality!

Everyone is off a schedule. We get less sleep, eat and drink more. This leads to grumpy parents and children. Presents...what is the perfect present? We spend hours researching for the perfect present only to find out someone changed their mind. On top of all of that we are with our extended families which can be wonderful but also stressful. Family members giving unwanted parenting advice, siblings knowing just want to say to make you angry. Then we add having to eat gluten-free. This cause extra stress as we all know. Sometimes we are supported and sometimes...not so much. Wow, it's a lot!

The word "grace" comes to mind. Give yourself grace, no one is perfect. We can't be the perfect parent, spouse, sibling, child, gift giver. Take time for yourself. Don't worry if your house isn't perfectly clean. If your child has a meltdown in front of the extended family it's okay. They are overwhelmed as well.

So during this holiday season don't try to be perfect. Be who you are. If you didn't get the perfect present for someone it's okay. Don't be afraid to advocate for yourself and/or your child's gluten-free needs. Those who love you will understand and be supportive. If you aren't supported bring a wonderful meal with you and don't feel guilty. Enjoy every bite.

Take care of yourself this holiday season. Surround yourself with people who love and care about you. Don't let people treat you poorly. If you need to take time to your self, don't feel guilty.

We only have so much time on this earth spend it with people who treat you kindly.

Merry Christmas!

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