It appears the Florida weather may not be observing the holidays this year, none the less, the holidays are upon us. If your family is like many of the families I see, including mine, this time of year is more than hectic. Let’s make our goal this holiday season to not only endure them, as many of us seem to year after year, but also ENJOY them. I know this sounds easier said than done, but reassessing how we look at the holidays can be done and could greatly benefit many of us.
- Examine what the holidays mean to you. This time of year, many of us find ourselves biting off more than we can chew, stuck in holiday rituals and activities not of our choosing. In order to enjoy these holidays, many of us need to prioritize our time and focus. Make a list of your holiday activities, i.e., Thanksgiving at grandma’s, Christmas Eve midnight service, holiday photos, Black Friday shopping, throwing your annual New Year’s Eve Party, etc. Look over your entire list and ask yourself, “Is each activity truly important to myself, spouse and/or children?” If the answer is yes, continue that activity, but if your answer is anything but yes, examine the reasons for participating in that activity and explore the options you have for altering, ending, or at least shortening that activity.
- Give yourself permission to streamline things. Yes, according to Pinterest and some of your neighbors, it may seem normal to saturate yourself this time of year in holiday decorating and festivities, but that does not mean that is always the wisest choice or a necessity. If your talents range more in the Meredith Grey than Martha Stewart range, feel free to participate as you see fit. Remember, no one says you have to do everything, especially by yourself. Many moms find it very advantageous to ask for help and delegate some responsibilities. Group gifts for teachers and larger dinner parties at holidays with potluck meals can truly be fabulous for decreasing stress.
- Plan ahead and schedule. I know this appears simple, but many times I see people not following through. Less stress is the key to enjoying the holidays, so following through and completing tasks is vitally important. Make calendars and to do lists for your activities, especially for gift giving and food supplies. This will allow you to optimize your shopping and utilize your time more effectively.
- Breathe and enjoy! Holidays are very similar to weddings where, after the event, no one remembers the small things. So breathe, enjoy the moment and don’t sweat the small stuff.
Overall, think of overhauling and reining in your holidays this year as a gift to enable you to be more present with the ones you love for the remainder of 2015. Tell us what is your biggest stress over the holidays?