Tis the season to be freaked out! Stressed! On a deadline! If you embrace the holidays, then December is difficult. This isn’t to overwhelm (you already are) but to reassure that the pressure is real and, thank goodness, manageable.
Pick your holiday priorities. As a faithful family, we want to keep the meaning of Christmas, the birth of Jesus and his call to love others, front and center. We ask ourselves, which activities bring us closer to God and others? Next, we prepare our environment that reminds us of our love for Christ (an Advent wreath and nativity scene indoors) and our love for neighbors (lights, wreath, and ornaments outdoors). Then we stick with what we’re good at, mainly making food and gathering friends at our home, while minimizing our weaknesses, mainly shopping and shopping. When the big day arrives, we trim the tree and go to church on Christmas Eve, sleep, and wake the next morning to presents!
And priorities need a plan. I know, I know, you don’t have time to write out a plan. But really, you don’t have time not write out a plan! On December 1, jot out a plan for the month. Look at each of your priorities and write on the calendar how and when they are going to be met. Leave pockets of free time each day for the unexpected.
Preparing for big holidays is too much for one person so ask for help. Santa has elves, right? Well I have kids (to clean), my friends (to escape with for coffee), Amazon Prime (no I didn’t get paid to write that), my husband (to run errands), my UPS guy (to bring stuff here and ship out cheer). Delegate. Delegate. Delegate.
Finally, give yourself a safe space to vent. I prefer to go big and fall short than to go small and be underwhelmed. I like the rush of energy that drives me to give and the generosity that multiplies back to our family a thousand fold. And sometimes I get in over my head. I just can’t get all the work done AND be jolly at the same time. So I allow myself to be a bit grumpy, a few times, with someone who loves me and understands.
How do you plan for holidays? Get stuff done? Manage stress? I’d love to hear from you!
Rooting for all holiday magic makers ~~~~~~~~ Angie Mc