How to keep from losing your mind during the holidays!

I’m one of those people who starts praying about Christmas when school starts. Not because I want to, but I feel it’s necessary to stay sane. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the Ark. Not that I recommend this, or decorating in October, but it works for me. ┬áThat’s how much anxiety this season causes me. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy it, it’s just a ton of pressure. It doesn’t have to be. ┬áHere’s how to blow off some steam.

  • Say no. Really. Don’t apologize for it either. If you can’t fit something in, and it doesn’t serve you or others, if you are dreading it, if it brings you no peace or joy, skip it if you can. For me it’s Christmas cards. I loathe them. No one writes anything personal in them, they are dead weight.
  • You cannot attend everything you’re invited to. So don’t.
  • KISS Keep it simple silly. I tend to over complicate things and simple is beautiful.
  • Streamline the gifts, or draw names secret Santa style (great for larger families or groups). Or skip them all together if the family can all agree (and the kiddos are older).
  • Take a trip, destination holidays can be cheap and lots of fun. No crowds!
  • Potluck, delegate the some of the food and drinks, if your going to entertain for the holidays. Or better yet, do finger food night, where everyone brings their favorite appetizers. Choose one or two seasonal signature cocktails instead of a full bar.
  • Go out for holiday dinners, some places stay open and offer great deals on catered holiday meals.
  • Pick a theme and streamline your decor, what makes you happy? Tacky or classy? Do you and make it fun. Great decor can come from your kids or the dollar store. It doesn’t have to makes sense or be traditional.
  • Take a fun person shopping with you, make it a adventure, try to get the bulk of the tedious errands done at once. Reward yourself after!
  • Listen to your favorite music, watch your favorite feel good movies. Stay away from the news. If you get tired of only holiday themed media, take a break. No one will know your listening to Metallica and not Bing Crosby.
  • Catch up with an old friend and commiserate holiday woes, we all have’em. Just purge, but try not to wallow.
  • Don’t forget to do what you love too, it’s a busy time, a grown up timeout is fine. Even if it’s glass of wine and a book in the tub. Do it. Just don’t drop your book in the water, or your phone if you like to live dangerously.
  • Get out. Get out of the house. Go for a Sunday drive, see where you end up. Take in some nature.
  • Light your favorite candles, scent and ambient lighting have a powerful effect on one’s mood.
  • Christmas is a season, not everything needs to happen on the 25th, spread the festivities and take breaks in between.
  • Enjoy the imperfection! One of my favorite holiday memories, is when my Mom forgot to put sugar in the pumpkin pie. It ruined her day but we laughed about for years!
  • Lighten up, you don’t have to be completely happy to have joy or to share it. Start small, make someone smile. You might find yourself smiling as well.