I heard about a study on the radio that determined listening to Christmas music early is not good for us because it can be a trigger to the stress of the holiday season. And who wants to be stressed out for the holidays earlier then necessary?
Unfortunately, many of us allow our personal expectations to make us feel that we need to do more. If you are like me you are already wondering do I need to do more Christmas shopping, more cooking, more baking cookies with my son, how can I wrap the gifts better, think about who I’m forgetting gifts for, and what the heck is going to fit after I eat all this holiday food?
I’ve decided that enough is enough! These are the steps I am taking to end the pre-holiday stress here and now.
1. Do not care
Ok, it’s not entirely possible to not care about one of the busiest and yet delightful seasons of the year. Instead of trying to conquer it all, I’m picking what I DO care about, like family time, celebrating at church, and enjoying the memories, and focusing in on those things. Christmas is supposed to be full of joy, so I will only care about joyful things.
2. Do not take it
Some of the holiday stress is externally placed upon us. Family members want to invite extra people to Christmas dinner, others buy you gifts that you weren’t expecting, you receive holiday cards of families that look so put together, and so on. But I’m not going to allow others to dictate what my family does for the holidays. Nope, not today.
3. Do not fake it
I often find that I am pretending to be a social butterfly during the season by going to a Christmas party when I’d rather be at home. You know, doing my usual, catching up on tv while everyone is asleep. Faking like I thought through all the holiday details far enough in advance to plan a great meal in a beautifully decorated house. Or like I am excited about going to the crowded malls to find a last minute gift. This has GOT to stop! Instead, I am attending what I what and making my family a priority – which might mean that we make our own traditions with just the three or four of us.
So, this is my game plan and I’m sticking to it. I believe that if I can stick to my guns and just do what’s best for me and my family we’ll all have a happier Christmas season.
What are some of your tips and tricks for getting through the holiday season and Christmas without stress?