“Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas.”~ Peg Bracken
Do you feel it?
There is a steady hum of energy as the anticipation of the holidays moves into high gear. As that energy current moves along we can get caught up in the wave, swept away helplessly in the frenzy and frustration. The pulse and hum of that energy sounds like a drum beat drumming out, bu bu…buy, buy, buy more as the flashing Christmas lights blind you causing you to wander aimlessly in and out of stores. You become disoriented, confused and oh so burned out……
But wait does it have to be this way?
Only if you really want it to be.
The holidays can come in with a wave of frenzied energy bringing with it all of the stress, financial burden and family issues. And yes you can get caught up in it but let me repeat, “only if you want it to be that way.” You have a choice!
Last year I wrote a post about our family’s newest tradition of no presents and that tradition lives on this year too. What we have found in the 3 years of honoring this tradition is a very relaxed holiday season and happier wallets. We have more time to spend together, time to talk and catch up, enjoy great food and not feel rushed or stressed. We have even made our Christmas menu simplier and gave the feast award to Thanksgiving where it belongs.
It’s easy to fall into the hype and stress because the pressure is all around you…but for what? Will you really be happier spending more money, more time and more of your precious energy doing what everyone else is doing? Or would you like to break out of that “pack mentality” and start your own tradition?
Doing something different during the holidays doesn’t have to be as radical as what my family does but there are other ways to dial it down a notch and keep your stress level on an even keel.
- Buying gift cards for everyone on your Christmas list. Easy peasy shopping for you and they get the gift they “really” wanted.
- Dial down that big ole Christmas feast to a few items, have it catered, or turn it into a big ole potluck.
- Set dollar limits on gifts or stick to the one gift only rule. That way no one feels like they have to top someone else’s gift.
- Donations to each person’s favorite charity that is on your list makes a great gift for that person and to the charity you are helping. It’s a win-win for everyone!
- Only decorate what YOU feel like doing. No one will mind if you don’t win the neighborhood holiday theme prize this year for the best yard decorations, it’s all about what you have the time and energy to put into it. If you want to win that prize then go for it!
- Pack up the family and give them a Christmas to remember, a vacation. What better way to create less stress then to leave it all behind.
- Host a drop in event for Christmas Day. Everyone can come and go as they like, less stress, less cooking and no one feels like they have to be on a schedule.
These are just a few suggestions for making your holidays a little more simple, a little more relaxing and a lot more enjoyable. Holidays don’t have to be a marathon event unless you want them to be so kick back, put your feet up and have your favorite beverage. It really is that easy.
I would love to hear your thoughts (down in the comments) on how you make your holidays less stressful. Let’s all work hard at NOT working hard during the holidays and enjoying the time and love with friends and family.
Share the love of this post with someone you may know that needs to have a little less stress in their lives for Christmas.