“I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO SAY, EXCEPT IT'S CHRISTMAS AND WE'RE ALL IN MISERY.” -ELLEN GRISWOLD
We all know the minute we finish our Thanksgiving meal full discussion erupts on what the plan is for Christmas. Will it be at Nana’s house this year or will everybody have to fly across country to appease Aunt So and So since she has been nagging everybody for years that she wants to host the holidays.
And on top of all of that, you have to worry about your child/children's extensive list to Santa, (if they still believe in Santa which is another headache all together), as well as gifts for the extended family and the doorman, babysitter, teachers etc etc. Let’s not even start with the stress and anxiety that ensues when you are the one hosting the family get together. It is hard enough preparing all the food and finding places for everyone to sleep but on top of all of that you just found out your brothers new girlfriend is vegan and you need to make sure there are dishes she can eat.
The holidays are always memorable but they really are what you make it. Here are a five tips to make this Christmas not just stress free but fun and special.
1. JUST BREATHE
I am sure this is one most of you have all heard before but, it really does work. If the need is immediate just stop, take 3 deep breathes and re-focus. If you have a little more time, light some aromatherapy candles or take a warm bath after all the relatives have gone to bed and focus on all the the things that you were grateful for that day.
This one is especially true if your home will be the location of the family gathering. You don’t have to do it all yourself, you don’t! Your sister, brother, mother-in-law...distant relative, will love to help. I personally have a hard time letting go of control when it comes to my kitchen but, the goal is to not just get through the holiday season but to enjoy it. Besides, doing the dishes together is a great way to foster relationships.
3. PLAN AHEAD
If you are traveling for the holidays, make a list of all the things you need ahead of time so you don’t leave anything behind. If you are staying in your city but are a guest at another’s home, ask what you can bring or if you should arrive early to help. And if you are hosting don’t be afraid to send out an email ahead of time letting your guests know what they should bring. You may be surprised at how often others are not just willing but excited to help especially on the holidays.
4. MOVE YOUR BODY
There is no reason to stay cooped up in the house fretting over your guests. Invite everyone outside to play in the snow or take the kids to the playground. Find out what special activities are happening around your area for the holidays or just go explore. If you need something more low key, slip away for an hour at the gym or invite your sister-in-law to join you for a yoga class. If your body feels better, so does your mind. This will help lower stress and give you a more restful sleep.
5. HAVE AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE
Remember what the holidays are all about. Faith, family, giving...whatever it means for you, give thanks. Christmas only comes once a year (thankfully) but it is a time for us to remember all the lessons we have learned the previous year and to look forward to the amazing year ahead. Find things that make you laugh and do them. When we are happy and filled with joy it is much easier to feel appreciation for all we have been given.
* This article was featured in www.achildgrows.com