Sweating in crowded stores.
Boring long lines at the post office.
Cramped hands from addressing 150 Christmas card envelopes.
‘Tis the season right? Along with the joy of the holidays comes some dread. It’s a lot of work. Especially if you are a mom. There is a way to simplify Christmas, however, and truly enjoy this season. Peace. Love. Joy. Family. Faith. It is within our reach.
Simplify Christmas by Remembering
3 Essential Truths
Essential Truth #1
The Stress of Christmas is Largely Self-Imposed
I know. Ouch. But really, where is the Christmas Rule Book? Who is basing our happiness in 2018 on whether we got Christmas right? Who is to say what is the “correct” way to spend the Christmas holiday?
WE ARE. That’s who. The pace of your holidays is determined by what you say yes-and no-to. Are you ready to simplify Christmas?
Essential Truth #2
YOU get to Design YOUR Christmas
I suggest you grab a mug of hot cocoa and find a cozy nook. Take along a pad of paper too. Sit and think for a moment or two. What do you remember from the Christmases of your childhood? What made this season special to you? Jot down those special moments: sleigh rides, driving around town to look at all the lights, church at midnight with all the candles, making cookies with your mom. How do you want your Christmases now to look?
Are you replicating that warm and loving experience? If not, what would you like to change?
Essential Truth #3
You Must Set a Budget
Set a budget not only for your money but for your time as well. Just like you may not have $5k to spend on presents, why are you trying to spend $5k worth of your time?
It’s ok to say no to some-or all-of the holiday gatherings you are invited to. People will understand. They will probably even respect you for setting boundaries to ensure your own happy holiday. Perhaps its time to say no to sending 100 Christmas cards. Maybe one great gift will work for multiple coaches and teachers, reducing your shopping time.
I tell my time management clients that your day is like your pantry. In this case, your holiday season (roughly December) is like your pantry. How?
Let’s say you have a walk in pantry. It is so large that you have appliances that you don’t use very often in there, like say, the stand mixer and the bread machine. Your pantry is so large, in fact, that it easily fits all the extras that you bought at Costco. This is like your holiday if you are retired and have two grown children. In fact, you’re flying to see them across the country for Christmas. They’re getting the tree and decorating the house. You couldn’t load lots of presents on the plane so you mailed a check for the grandchildren.
Now let’s say your pantry is basically a closet. You’ve got room for the foods you eat most often-breakfast cereals and snacks for the kids. But no room for appliances. No room for extra paper towels from Costco. You only put your most important items in your pantry. This is your holiday season if you have several small children, all of whom are involved in various activities which will be having holiday celebrations.
See where I’m going here? How big is your “pantry?” What can you reasonably fit into it? There are only so many shelves in a pantry and days in the holiday season. Put the most important items on your shelf first.
Don’t Let Christmas Just Happen to You
Write down everything you “have” to do for the big day. Are there items you can delete? Delegate? Think hard about how much time you really have, and how you really want to spend Christmas. Simplify Christmas so that you enjoy every sparkly snowflake, Christmas carol and candle in the window.
Merry Christmas friends,