As we embark on a joyous holiday season, it’s easy to get swept up in the rush and stress of it all. In a family of blended backgrounds, it’s important for us to explore what has significance for us and how we want to make merry. It’s been an amazing experience for me, as someone that grew up celebrating Christmas and Saint Nicholas Day, to find so much meaning in Hanukkah and Solstice. And yet, there are traditions of Christmas and Saint Nicholas Day that I can’t imagine living without.
And so, I have to admit, I’m a holiday addict! But I am also a happiness junkie and a working girl, so I have to find balance or bust. Many of us find the holiday season stressful regardless of our love of fruitcake, reindeer sweaters and chocolate Hanukkah coins. I’m going to share with you what I’ve discovered in my quest for holiday merriment infused with meaning and deficient in overwhelm.
- It’s vital to know your priorities. You just can’t do everything. Make lists of the most important events to attend, presents to buy and traditions to enjoy. What makes you feel the love and joy of the season? Concentrate on that and make it your top priority. If you aren’t excited to go to your cousin’s eggnog tasting or your co-worker’s ornament making party, skip it. Save your energy for things that delight you.
- Maintain traditions that have meaning for you and your family. If there are family traditions that you grew up with that you love, do them. But, don’t feel obligated to put socks in the stocking or make a huge pot roast just because your grandma did.
- Skip the holiday cards! Or don’t. If you actually enjoy sending out holiday cards – definitely do it (and send me one too.) But, if you’re like me and it’s enjoyable about every other year, send it out every other year. There are very few people that make naughty and nice lists based on who they receive holiday cards from. Instead, reach out to those you love in other ways – call them email them, or send cards for other holidays.
- Take care of yourself first. It’s tempting to binge on cookies and fudge for the whole month of December, but don’t. When you fill your soul container full of crap, it’s likely to feel like crap. I recommend focusing on eating balanced meals instead of avoiding treats. You don’t want to deprive yourself of every sugary indulgence, but if you first have a delicious meal with lots of vegetables – you’ll only have room for half a pumpkin pie and a medium eggnog latte.
- Don’t forget to have fun! There is joy to be had at every moment, regardless of what you are doing. If you find yourself grumbling your way through REI looking for that perfect gift for your brother, stop, inject some silliness and delight into your search. Imagine what his face would look like if you gave him the go-girl female urination device! It can be fun, anything can be fun. Lighten up a little.
I’d love to hear about your holiday traditions and how you make this season magical. Email me, or send me a holiday card or…just skip it if it wouldn’t bring you joy.