Too often we look forward to the holidays only to become overwhelmed, stressed out, and ultimately lose our joy. Here is a few suggestions to stay in the spirit of the season and enjoy yourself.
First, ask yourself and your immediate family, How would you enjoy a holiday celebration? This question helps decide what’s most important for everyone, and lets you know if you have been stressing over ” false guilt” “should do’s” and fear of disappointing. Take time to discuss with all family members exactly what is important to whom. Many times when we ask the “how” question, the things we thought were important are really not.
Then, start looking at your schedule. Can you really do all you want while keeping your sanity? Jotting notes on your calendar will give you a sense of control over your time no matter what happens. Plan for things like decorating, cooking, shopping, gift wrapping, plus commuting in between.
Having to compromise and avoid perfectionism will test your patience. If one store does not carry the exact party supplies you had in mind, think of the commuting hassles of going from store to store, in holiday traffic. Turning this around and making holiday happiness means having a budget and sticking to it, paying cash to avoid credit card remorse. How about choosing recipes you can prepare a day or two ahead?
But if you really want holiday memories, focus on relationships, kindness and service. Make an extra effort to include the elderly and disabled, and yes, even the black sheep in the family, who feels alienated. Let them know how much they have all contributed to your lives.