Keeping It All Together

The pressure to have it all together is magnified during the holiday season. Keeping everyone happy, looking their best, getting everyone to behave, the food, the house, the gifts…augh! It can all be so overwhelming. I hate to quote something from Facebook but there was a message floating around that stuck in my head. It went “Don’t compare your behind the scenes life with someone’s highlight reel”. You get to see a little portion of everyone else’s life, you don’t get to see the messy closest or the junk drawer or their lists of projects that can’t quite get done. We get to see everyone’s happy Christmas photo card or hear about how little Garrett is excelling at swimming. Below are some tips and suggestions to relax and enjoy the holiday madness:

Get in the spirit. Deck the halls, crank up “Jingle Bells” and take the time to sit down and watch “White Christmas”.

Start early with projects around the house. Tackle smaller projects or break down larger projects into mini tasks. Start organizing your closets by taking everything out and then sorting. Do we really need to keep the winter jacket we haven’t worn in five years? Donate it. Checking these small tasks your lists can be rewarding.

Lower your expectations. It’s great to have goals, but don’t overextend yourself. Nobody wins if you are stressed out and disappointed you didn’t get to knit all of your first cousins a scarf.

Delegate. Why should you manage everything on your own? The kids can help wrap presents, “Oh how cute.” Someone else can run to the store, so what if they don’t return with the exact brand of crackers you wanted. Somehow life will go on.

Enjoy your time with family and friends. So what, if you didn’t make homemade cookies, now you have the time to sit down with your family or call an old friend.

Simplify gift giving. Everyone wants to buy the perfect gift, but sometimes gift cards or cash are appreciated more. Or maybe (only if you are able) something homemade.

Practice forgiveness and understanding. People can be weird over the holidays. Awkward conversations, misspoken words. Understand, forgive and get on with the egg nog.

Go forward with your holiday prepping, but remember as my good friend the Grinch said, “Maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store…maybe Christmas perhaps means a little more.”