Meaningful Holidays Without the Stress
When I scroll through Facebook I see all these amazingly delicious looking cookies, beautifully decorated trees and intricate house decorations. The to-do lists at this time of year are barely doable. The gifts need to be bought and wrapped, the elf needs to be moved, the cookies need to be made, the parties planned, the cards sent, and the calendar fills.
Meanwhile, normal life goes along and the regular stress of life compounds. You still have to get enough sleep, eat healthy, cook, clean, go to the bank, shop, work, be a good life partner, parent, child, sibling, friend, and coworker, and be the stellar person that is you.
I get swept up in it all, too. When I started planning our holiday, I had something booked for us every night of Hanukkah. I want to make loving, fun, lasting memories. I want the family and community traditions.
Then, reality hit. I looked at our calendar, took a step back, a deep breath, and cancelled half of it.
We have life going on in the midst of these holidays. My son has piano lessons and a band concert, my daughter is in the midst of studying for finals, my husband is taking a very demanding course that takes up every spare moment of his time outside of work, and eight nights is A LOT of nights to make special!
I am a pretty laid back person. I avoid stress and drama as much as possible. I have never sent a Holiday card, even though I do enjoy getting them. I don’t typically bake because I know if I make something yummy I will eat it – and that, in the long run, makes me feel guilty, not happy. When I have family or friends over for dinner, I say yes when they ask if they can bring something.
Choose Your Own Happiness
There are so many things you CAN do to make yourself stressed during this season. The bottom line is to choose what is really making you happy.
Do what you enjoy doing. Without thinking about what anybody else wants or needs from you. Choose to do those things that serve you. Think of yourself and what you love to do – not your kids who love the elf or family that needs the big fancy meal or coworkers that love your homemade fudge. When we put others first and try to make everyone else happy, we end up making ourselves pretty miserable.
Putting yourself first is an important skill to learn. Not only does it make you happier, but it also allows for you to free up your time for things that are much more important. When you don’t have to make homemade gifts for your loved ones, you have time to actually spend with them, and that is the most precious, memorable gift of the season.
Take care of yourself and have the happiest of holidays!