This time of year, I always find myself struggling to keep the holiday spirit as I contemplate my lists of things to do in order to get to every event on our calendar with all of the required food, gifts, smiles, and energy. It is the same every year. Every year I say to myself, “how could I do this differently next year?” and every year I find myself in the same place.
The holiday bustle is starting earlier and earlier and it seems like that only creates more pressure for performance.
In my house, I am the “bah humbug” of the family. I am not ready or willing to start thinking Christmas until Thanksgiving is on the books. I usually don’t listen to Christmas music until that day, and I don’t get the tree or the house decorated until after that day. I’m the scrooge who lives with a husband and kids that would (and do) listen to Christmas music year-round! I feel guilty for being this way, but I also try to honor each day, and I guess for me that means letting each holiday have it’s time.
So, Thanksgiving is done and then Wham! I start to get overwhelmed! I worry about being behind and not having a plan and how will I come up with gifts and, and… Things start to bubble and boil and it isn’t pretty.
Last week, as I was justing coming out of the haze of panic, I read a great re-post by Brene´ Brown, The show must go on. But, at what cost? It is a reminder that many of us are feeling the same way over the holidays and there are ways to change or adjust to feel just a bit better.
I started to breathe and remember that I had made a plan for this year that would turn down the pressure:
-I am giving up on the idea of mass Christmas cards. Instead, I have been working to send intentional notes when I get time throughout the year.
-I am doing more shopping online to avoid the hysteria and panic that being out in the crowds can create in me.
-We are changing our holiday schedule to avoid excess travel.
-We have been collecting money to share with a charity that we chose in early November.
-We are trying to carve out time to create some homemade gifts.
All of these little changes are attempts to keep the spirit of the season and my values included in our other traditions. I’m not trying to add more, but make the things that are already there more intentional. I can feel it working. I won’t say that I didn’t have my Dec. 1st freakout, because I did, but I just put myself to bed early and woke up the next day determined to try again.
How do you keep things in perspective at this busy time of year?
What adjustments could you make so that things feel easier?
Tell me about it!