To the Mama Overwhelmed by Christmas


To the mama overwhelmed by Christmas,

We can’t grab coffee, though how dearly I wish we could. But let’s pretend for a minute you squish into my couch and I pour you a cup of warm joe. I ask of course, “Do you take cream?” and we talk over all things Mom & Holidays.

To the Mama Overwhelmed by Christmas | Duluth Moms Blog

Let’s not waste too much time. I’m Anna, and I love Christmas. I love everything that gets smashed into the months of November and December that rings of jolly, cheer and old-fashioned joy. I love caroling and snowflakes falling softly under streetlights. I love apple cinnamon scented candles, and I prefer if they crackle. I love trudging through the snow and warming toddler hands while we search for that filled out Christmas tree in the many rows of pines at the Abrahamson tree farm. I love reading through our Advent book before bed and Christmas PJs. I love the stockings my Grandma knit for me when I was a kid and then knit for my husband when we got married, and again for my kids when we welcomed them to the world.

To the Mama Overwhelmed by Christmas | Duluth Moms Blog

But there is this thing that I realized when I became a Mom. This pressure that echoes under the carols piped through the city around this most magical time of year. “You cant measure up. You need to be more. Spend more. Pile the gifts higher. You must put your head down and hustle through it. It is your responsibility after all to make all things sparkly and tied with THE perfectly tied velvet ribbon.” Am I the only one believing these crazy lies that harrass my heart to the tune of Deck the Halls? I am sure not.

To the Mama Overwhelmed by Christmas | Duluth Moms Blog

This is where I would look you straight in the eyes and point you towards hope. If there is not a single present under your tree this year, you are still enough. If your gift wrap doesn’t coordinate like a Macy’s ad, you are still enough. If you do not cook your turkey like Martha Stewart when your in-laws come over for dinner, you are still enough. If you forget to leave cookies for Santa by your fireplace or don’t have enough energy to move the Elf on the Shelf every. single. night. You are still enough.

To the Mama Overwhelmed by Christmas | Duluth Moms Blog

I’m stockpiling my heart with peace, hope, and joy, and tying it up with crazy amounts of love regardless of how many coordinated presents lie under my tree. I’m keeping my eyes open to unwrap the wonder of this magical season, and I promise if you do too, you will discover a sacredness to this holiday like never before.

Merry Christmas, darling mama.

You are enough. So beautifully enough. This Christmas. And everyday.

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Anna McParlan
Anna was born + raised along the shores of Lake Superior. The water and the dear family and friends that call Duluth home are the magnet that keep her and her growing family adoring this place. Anna married her high school crush and together they are raising two darling compassionate adventurers with a love of fresh air and grace. Anna loves all things that shout of beauty, hope, truth, and pointing people towards joy. Her love for writing started in kindergarten where she would come home with long stapled together novels- recently found in her Moms chest of saved childhood projects. That passion for stringing together words would only bloom in the many years to come. When Her Dad battled brain cancer for 17 years, writing became her safe place to wrestle with both joy and pain as well as a place to search for beauty. Today you can find Anna running wild in the things that bring her joy. Falling more in love with her tall sweetheart of a husband. Doing her best to raise kids who chase after truth, love a good hike, and give away kindness. Gathering friends old and new in their home to share good food, hearts, and life. Filling out adoption paperwork to bring home their third (and maybe 4th!) babe from Uganda home. Chasing sunsets with her minis + capturing couples promising their forevers as a wedding photographer at Along An Inland Sea Photography. She shares about heaven breaking into the everyday mundane on Instagram where she likes to mini blog and post about those darling babes of hers-- pop over and say hello to her on Instagram


  1. So much truth in this for all of us <3
    Something I will be repeating to myself from this day forward as the holiday season comes with all its glory.

    • I am so glad it brought a little hope to you. Theres so much demand on our hearts in this season but my prayer is that we could all rest fully this season! PRESENT > PERFECT

  2. Anna,
    Thank you for this inspiring post. I love the message it sends. These traditions of family and fun are what our children will remember most.

    • Its so true. Truthfully I cannot remember a single christmas present from childhood (and my parents loved to give gifts) but I remember their presence, intention, all the people, and the traditions that engrained deep in my heart over the years. There is so much room for grace + imperfection + life to be lived + celebrated. PRESENCE > PERFECT.

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