Every holiday season I have this mental list of things that I want to do and I rush around like a crazy person trying to get everything accomplished … I spend entirely too much money … I get totally stressed out … and in the post-holiday recap I always wish I could have done more. It’s a crazy horrible cycle and I’m sure I’m not the only person who gets this way during the holidays.
But I love it.
I love the holidays. I love the snow and dressing up in lots of layers … I love Christmas music … I love making all sorts of cool holiday related crafts … baking all that warm yummy food … sending and receiving Christmas cards … and I LOVE seeing the giant pile of presents under the tree. The pile of presents under the tree scream “Look at that. Look at what you accomplished. All that shopping for just the right thing. Then all the time to lovingly wrap it and write their name on it. And look at all the presents down there with your name on them! Look at all the people who love you.” I swear this is how shopaholics are born. 🙂
But despite all the joy and fun of the holiday season there are the bad things too … the snow and dressing up in lots of layers (by February this gets pretty old … Christmas music (seriously, who needs a radio station dedicated entirely to Christmas music starting on Halloween?) … half finished holiday crafts that mock me with undoneness (yes, it’s word … at least it is now) … all the weight gained from eating more cookies, candies, turkey, potatoes, ham and who knows what than any person ever should … getting half of the Christmas cards addressed and stamped and then never finished the rest … and the shopping … oh dear lord the SHOPPING!!!!
via Flickr”]Where do I even being on that? Racking my brain for weeks and months trying to come up with new and unique gift ideas for people who pretty much have everything they need and want … fighting through the insane traffic to get to the stores and I’m not even
going to mention the mall … trying to resist the temptation to buy all the awesome stuff I accidentally find for myself while supposedly shopping for others … all the worrying if what you bought is really something they would like and is it the right size … keeping all the hundreds of stupid gift receipts straight on the off chance that it isn’t right … but I digress.
The holidays are time of great joy and anticipation … especially when you are experiencing it with a new child … but they are also a time of great stress, tension, and frustration. I’ve decided this year to try to eliminate as many of the bad things that I can and focus on the good things by planning head and being practical.
I went to a seminar at work on how to survive the holidays and they had us fill out a sheet that look something like this:
- I will START doing:
- I will STOP doing:
- I will do MORE of:
- I will do LESS of:
The idea being to focus on the things that are really important to you and the things that make you the happiest and finding a way to make those things happen. So when you do your post-holiday recap you have no regrets. Here is what my list looks like:
- I will START doing: I want to create a holiday tradition that is new and special to my family … whether it be driving around and looking at Christmas decorations, or going downtown and seeing Michigan Ave … I want a new thing that is just for us and our new lives as a family.
- I will STOP doing: I will stop stressing out about spending lots of money on my folks. Ever since I had my own semi-disposable income I have taken it upon myself to buy my parents lots of gifts every year for Christmas. I suppose I feel like I need to pay them back for all the great gifts they’ve gotten me over the years and all the other amazing thing they have done for me. But I’m broke. I can’t afford that. They know it and I know it. And this year I’m not going to feel bad about it.
- I will do MORE of: Holiday crafts. I love crafts in general and I wish I had more time to dedicate to the art of creating. It givesme a lot of satisfaction a sense of accomplishment. So this year, instead of spreading myself super thin trying to a ton of baking and card writing I’m just going to focus on making a few really awesome holiday related crafts.
- I will do LESS of: Getting useless things for myself (and Jack) that just take up space and have no purpose or meaning. Every year there are at least a handful of gifts I receive that have no purpose or place. A weird candle burning thing that plugs into the wall … 8,000 pairs of holiday socks … and pretty much everything that goes into a Christmas stocking. In an attempt to make our gift giving seem plentiful we sometimes stray into the “useless crap” category. You know you have bought this if it comes in a holiday patterned box and is sold in the middle of an aisle or an endcap. I am putting a stop to this madness! My three person family lives in one bedroom condo! We have no room for it and I have told everyone who loves us to only buy us stuff we can really use or really need. And I’m going to do the same.
Hopefully if I stick to these great ideas this holiday season will be stress free and full of awesomeness. Wish me luck!