Want to know how to have a stress free holiday season? The secret is less. Do less, buy less and eat less.
If the holidays make you irritable, cranky and worn out, then it's time to reevaluate what you are doing.
- If you have too many parties to go to and you just can't take anymore, then review the list and say yes only to the invites that make you want to say 'Hell Yes!'. Going to a party should not feel like an obligation.
- Stop with the shopping madness. I remember as a kid driving to my grandparent's house on Christmas morning and nothing was open. Not even the local gas station. I was wrapped up in a cozy cocoon in the car and there was this sublime hush as the tires crunched over newly fallen snow. Unless you are saving babies, you shouldn't have to work on Thanksgiving or Christmas.
- Buy less. Cut your shopping list in half. It means you have to spend less time and less money shopping. Christmas should not put you in debt. My mom would set aside cash all year in envelopes for each person in the family. When she was shopping the cash in the envelope dictated what she could spend. Nothing went on credit cards. I have a friend who made a decision to buy each child four things. Something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read. She pointed out they already have so many toys they don't use. Another way to save money, and the environment, is to not buy wrapping paper (plus where do you store this stuff!). I save packing paper throughout the year and use that to wrap my presents.
- Give something different. I teach sewing and am an interior decorator and sometimes I give away lessons or design work as presents. I'll make presents using upcycled materials or materials I have on hand. Since I am on a pretty tight budget right now I was thinking of making dinner for a couple of friends instead of buying presents. If you need to get some shopping done then shop local. You'll support your community and find unique presents for the people in your life.
- Give yourself permission to say no. If there are traditions that are no longer working for your family then rework them. If there are obligations that you can no longer make then don't do them. Keep yourself happy and sane this holiday season.
I can practically hear you scoffing, but try the things I've mentioned. Yes, someone may be upset with you because you didn't fulfill their needs, but what about your needs? What about being a pleasant person to be around and being there for your friends and families because you aren't stressed out so much that you've checked out of the conversation? What would it look like if you had time to spend with loved ones?
This holiday season you may not see me much because I'll be enjoying myself.