Are you looking for ways to lower your holiday stress this year?
For too many of us, the thought of the end of the year being here can be a stressful one. When we think of the holidays, often there are negative things that we think of. Money being tight, getting the right gifts for everyone, the stress of seeing all of our not so favorite relatives, having to be in two places at once, etc.
But if you think about it, these are all things that society tells us to do; it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are correct or the best things.
So what are some things we can do to make our lives simpler in this very hectic season?
1.Know the real meaning of the season
When our children were younger, one of the things we decided to do was to tell them the truth about Santa. The motivation for doing this was simple enough; we got tired of making up stories.
This decision was a very good one and ended up taking a lot of grief out of our life. At the time when I told people about our decision, they thought it was such a novel idea, and were shocked that anyone would tell their little children the truth.
2. Spend some time at home, for your sanity
Another thing we eventually did was to start having holidays at home. Being that we have multiple families who want to spend time with us, every year we have to try and schedule things out even if it means that it’s a week late.
One year my husband had worked a string of overtime, so we said “Forget about going somewhere else on Christmas day, let’s stay here”. That’s what we did, and it was a great way to spend a Christmas.
Was it a popular decision? No, it wasn’t; but when you are an adult with your own family, there is no need to explain yourself to others outside the family.
For the last couple years, we have picked either Christmas or Thanksgiving to stay home as a family. It’s a great decision for us and it has definitely cut back on a good deal of stress.
3. Gift Lists
One of the other things we have done especially with Christmas is have each child write a list of what they need or want. I tried the guessing game, and I wasn’t very good at it.
For this list, you could have a monetary limit, an item limit (five things), or limits in categories. A category list would be limited by your imagination and the interests of your families. You could ask your children to pick out a book, a video game, and a place to go (things like movies or bowling).
Let me tell you about one Thanksgiving in particular. We had only been married a couple of years, and I was pregnant with our second child. I volunteered to make the turkey even though I was not a very good cook at the time. This was a really bad idea to attempt.
When we showed up the turkey was still raw! The best thing was that my husband and his family took it all in stride. They put it in the oven, and we ended up having sandwiches and eating the turkey a couple hours later.
Looking back, I was the one who put the most pressure on myself that day.
When thinking about ways to lower your holiday stress, look and see what pressure you are putting on yourself. Chances are if you address that, you can help yourself and your family to enjoy the holidays even better.