It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year….or Is It?

It’s that time of year again!  Christmas is a week and a half away.  It can be wonderful and magical with lights and cheerful holiday music, planning gifts for loved ones, and some seriously delicious food.  It can also be insanely stressful with crowds of people and long lines everywhere.  With long lists of people to buy gifts for, busy schedules to manage, and family members you really wish you didn’t have to see.  How can such a short period of time be so wonderful and magical one moment then make you want to hide in a blanket fort and not move the next moment?

In the past, I have put so much pressure on myself for everything to be perfect.  I needed to have perfect gifts for everyone on my list, a perfectly planned schedule so I could see everyone in my family on Christmas day, the perfect plan to avoid family members I really didn’t want to see, and have the perfect outfit in case someone was taking pictures.  So, as you can guess, I hated this time of year.

Now I love it!  And here’s why:

  • I’ve done away with the long list of gifts to buy.   It was getting expensive, and honestly, I usually found myself buying something completely meaningless just to have something to give people.  In the past couple of years, I’ve started making gifts instead and only for the people closest to me.  It’s much more meaningful and much less stressful.  
  • Instead of trying to see everyone in one day, I spread visits out over two or three days.  That way, I get to enjoy time with everyone that I want to spend time with.  As for the people that I don’t want to see, I don’t see them!  When that person is a family member it is hard not to feel guilty but I’m telling you that it’s ok!  You are allowed to enjoy your holiday free of guilt and stress.
  • I forget the word perfect.  That’s hard for me because I am a perfectionist.  However, I am slowly but surely letting go of the idea that everything must be perfect. It’s not perfect and it won’t be but as long as I’m with the people I love I am happy.

What will you do to make your holidays less stressful and more enjoyable?  

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