We’re almost there.
The Christmas decorations are up and Michael Bublé has made his return to supermarkets and shopping malls everywhere. And then there is you (or maybe its just me) wondering what the crazy that is Christmas ‘month’ will bring.
There is the shopping, the what to bring on Christmas day, the parties, the wrapping, the looking at the budget and of course family. All of these I am so grateful for however I know that this can all add more stress than is necessary. So you know what? It’s time to reclaim some of that time for yourself and to make this season enjoyable for everyone- no one wants to wish it away.
Here’s my three tips for you (and I’m not going to promise they’re easy)
- Do what you want to do on Christmas Day. Talk about this with your significant other- and children if you have them- and decide what would work best for your family. Set some clear boundaries and stick to them. For us, every three years is an away Christmas. We go somewhere else and spend time together. As hard as this may be to hear, if your family stresses you out or makes you feel guilty for not seeing them or not following how they want the day to be- that’s not okay and you need to get in and set a boundary. I recommend the use of the ‘I’ or ‘We’ statement here. For example: “We/I have decided this year that we want to have the morning as a family. If you’re coming to visit, after 11am is best so we can have some time to enjoy the day together first.” How they react to that is their business and of course this goes both ways- you need to accept the boundary others give you as well!
2. Hold fast on your budget. This season, regardless of what the media and every shopping mall tells you, is not about going into debt to please everyone-including yourself. This is also about having those conversations that may feel awkward. Maybe you need to start a secret santa rather than buying for everyone, maybe you introduce family gifts (one gift per family), maybe its just presents for the kids or no gifts at all. I have a range of these ideas used in our family and it works well. Remember, its not about how much you spend, its about the care and thought that goes into the gift. Homemade baking and other goods, vouchers and even op shop purchases can be wonderful gifts plus they’re great for the environment and your bank balance.
3. Do something for yourself in the first couple of hours of Christmas day and prepare what is needed in the days before. This is so important! I will always say that how you start your day, is how it will end up. Also, if you start preparing what is needed in the days prior you know its all sorted. If you can start your day with a practice that makes you feel calm, collected and ready, you’ll enjoy things so much more. Some ideas to do this could be
- doing a workout
- a run or walk in nature
- writing your to do list for the day
- no social media/switch your phone off
- watch a movie with the kids
Choose what will have you feeling fresh so that what usually feels like a whirlwind can feel more grounded.
However you spend your Christmas this year, I hope you’ll have a safe and happy one. One where you’re with those you love, who you haven’t seen in a while, those that make you smile and laugh.
I hope its not the season where you feel stressed, uncomfortable and like you cannot be true to yourself out of fear of saying no.
I hope you don’t get lost in the materialism and consumerism of the season and instead you come back to the meaning of Christmas- that of giving without the need to receive in return.
What are your tips to enjoying the holiday season?