Oh, the holidays. Some people love the frenzy. The merrier the music, the taller the tree, the more plentiful the pile of presents, and the fuller the fullness from food–well, that is all dizzy-making happiness for them and they don’t need this message. If you fall into that category, keep on doing your thing in jolly style. If, on the other hand, you’re the type of person who is starting to buckle under the pressure of the holidays, let’s chat.
A lot of people, I think, just as in other parts of their lives, compare their holiday to other people’s or to movie, television, or magazine holidays. I say, stop comparing your holiday to anybody else’s and do what feels right for you and yours.
Holiday stress is just not necessary.
We don’t have to stage a major production just because somebody before us did or because all the people around us seem to be. To quote a very popular Disney character, “Let it go . . . let it go!” Breaking away from your family or community’s traditions and starting your own can be very liberating.
You don’t want to bake eight different types of cookies for all your neighbors? Don’t. Give them a nice card. You don’t feel like making traditional Christmas food for dinner because you’re honestly not really into it? Bake a lasagna. You don’t want to cook at all? Great. Spend that time helping at a shelter’s holiday meal or visiting with residents at an assisted living center. In years past we’ve made wonderful memories with a couple of violins and so-so singing voices. Your budget is tight and you can’t give to this charity and that charity and those kids and these people? Fine. Keep the spirit of giving in your heart all year and do it in the spring or summer. This charity and that charity and those kids and these people need whatever it is you can give all year long–not just now. Do what feels right for you and let go of the obligations of the season. No budget at all? Write some letters telling your people how much they mean to you or give them gifts of your time.
Feeling joyful should not feel like an obligation. The holidays can be a magical time, no question, but only if they feel good and you don’t have to prove anything to anyone.
Let your peeps know you love them. Sing a joyful song together, marvel at the twinkling lights, and share a cup of cheer. Your low-key approach to the holidays might relieve some of the pressure off other people in your life and make their holiday a little easier too.
We hope your holiday season is going well. What do you do to keep the holiday stress low?