Let me start by saying I love the Christmas holiday season. And I love traditions – keeping old ones going and creating new ones. But what I don’t like is the stress that often comes with wanting the holidays to be perfect.
Let’s be honest, creating a perfect Christmas is an unrealistic expectation.
So this holiday season I’m committed to not getting caught up in the craziness of the endless to dos and activities that often go into trying to make each Christmas holiday even more memorable than the last.
Instead I’m embracing the notion that less is more.
This starts with me not overdoing it with the shopping and gift giving. I will focus on giving a few quality gifts versus a bunch of crap that never gets used or played with. You know quality over quantity.
I will also do most of my shopping online. Being able to shop in the comfort of my own home and comparison shop for the right deal without the stress of crowds, traffic, and disappointment when I can’t find what I’m looking for is a no brainer.
I get that some people just love being in the thick of holiday shopping but these days I need easy and stress-free shopping, which also means not waiting until the last minute.
I’m almost done with most of my shopping and over the next few weeks I will do a little each week to prepare for the big day so I’m not a crazy person on Christmas Eve trying to get it all done.
Another effective but easier said than done way to avoid holiday stress is practicing the art of saying “NO” to as much as possible. This starts with saying “NO” to overindulgence like all the eating, drinking and spending that comes with the holidays.
Remember, you’re not saying “NO” to the merriment of the holidays. You’re saying NO to the consequences – to the weight gain, the hangovers, and the debt that results from overindulging.
Also learn to say “NO” to the endless holiday activities vying for your time and energy. Pick a few things you would love to do and say “NO” to the rest.
Find low-key, meaningful activities you can do as a family at home and give yourself a break from the pressure of trying to live up to the spirit of Christmas.
The kids won’t remember half the shit you did to celebrate the holidays especially if they are under five. What your kids will remember is the quality time you spent together even if that just means you sat home watching holiday movies and sipped hot chocolate.
This really is about establishing your priorities and sticking to them. When you are fully aware of your values and what’s important to you and your family you will discover that half the stuff we do in the name of creating a happy childhood for our children just isn’t in alignment with what is truly important and lasting.
If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed over the next few weeks just STOP, breathe and take a break from it all to regroup and figure out what’s important and really matters.
My hope is that you realize all the things that seem to make the holidays perfect just aren’t that important – like sending out the perfect holiday card with the perfect family picture, or making perfectly decorated cookies for Santa, or shopping for the perfect gifts that are then perfectly wrapped.
Remember less is more. Figure out how to spend less time, energy, money and resources on trying to make Christmas perfect and instead just be present. That’s the real gift you can give to yourself and your children.