The holiday season is upon us and for most of us, it means more activity than usual: More events, more shopping, more cooking, more entertaining. While all of this is important, most of us have a tendency to expect more than we should, more perhaps than is healthy. To alleviate some of the stress that goes along with this time of year, I propose that you give yourself permission to enjoy it all.
Let the kids help
Yes, the cookies may look a little funny, the gift wrapping won’t be magazine cover worthy, the decorations may not be very sophisticated, but there is plenty of time in the future to work toward a Pinterest-perfect holiday. One year our gingerbread cookies turned into witches and bears (a creative solution to a baking mishap). Traditional, no; but I still remember us all giggling as we decorated them. A LEGO giraffe turned into the “Holiday Giraffe” when a child was told to either put it away or make it a decoration (a mini Santa hat appeared, followed by other appropriate attire throughout the year).
Watch holiday shows with the kids
Our first Christmas season as parents, we snuggled on the couch with a 10-month-old who honestly couldn’t care less about Rudolph. Now that all the holiday classics are on DVD, you can even make a marathon of it, whenever it fits into the schedule. Snacks and cocoa make it a party. Admit it, you still enjoy watching – be present, not furtive with your viewing.
If Mother Nature surprises you with a snowstorm, instead of worrying about all the things you can’t do, focus on what you can – go out and build a snowman or make snow angels. I guarantee you will get giggles (and possibly eye rolls) when you plop down in the snow, and even more when you try to get back up.
Skip some events
Holidays are a time of celebration. They are a time for family and friends to get together and share experiences. If what you are doing is creating stress, maybe it is something that doesn’t need doing. For an event that truly requires your attendance, you can likely just make a brief appearance. People understand that it is a busy time of year, and everyone has conflicting events.
Let go of traditions
Traditions are important, but if they don’t feel right, move on and make new ones. Things change, and some traditions are better off as memories. If you are forcing activities just because it is tradition to do so, no one will enjoy them, and it will defeat the purpose of tradition: to make good memories.
At this time of year, most of us are planning to spend time with loved ones. What we tend to remember are the activities, the laughter, the love; not how much time we spent on preparations. Give yourself time to enjoy the moments. The other stuff, just give yourself permission to let it go.
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5 Ways to Take it Down a Notch This Christmas was written by Kimberly Yavorski exclusively for BonBon Break Media LLC.
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