This is the first post in the Christmas series at From this Kitchen Table. Be sure to come back over the next few weeks to read more thoughts, get some new recipes, and receive gift ideas. You can follow us on Facebook or subscribe by e-mail to be sure you don’t miss out!
How many of us feel relaxed, carefree, calm, joyous and able to enjoy the holiday season to the fullest as we pass Thanksgiving and move closer and closer to Christmas? I know that most of those adjectives aren’t ones that would come to the front of my mind.
The season starts with a tree and decorating inside and out. There’s practicing for school and church Christmas programs. Then throw in holiday parties and open houses, caroling, lots of holiday baking. Oh yeah, don’t forget you have to see everyone in your family and shop for presents too. The 25th arrives before you have time to breathe. You wake up early, paper is torn off presents, food is inhaled, the car loaded and unloaded. When it all ends you are tired and exhausted, wondering what happened to the day. You might even be a little relieved it’s all over.
Maybe it’s time to do things differently. Maybe it’s time to slow down and think about what we are doing. Maybe we should focus on the true reason for celebrating.
Do you know what? We don’t have to do every little (and big) thing that presents itself to us. We don’t have to say yes! If Christmas isn’t about the presents, cookies, parties, get togethers, performances, elaborate decorations, fancy meals and so forth we should be able to say no (even when it’s hard) without feeling guilty.
Let go of the pressures and expectations that normally come along with this month. Let go of trying to keep up with the Jones’. Even let go of having to keep every tradition.
The Action Plan:
Sit down with your husband (or by yourself if you are single) and go over your plans for Christmas and the month of December. Discuss what traditions are the most important to you, what memories you want to make. Decide how you want to handle visiting family and parents. It is so easy to carry rules and expectations with us from our past. It’s important to remember that you are your own family now. It’s okay if how we celebrate looks differently than our friend’s, neighbor’s, or sister’s way. Your kids and spouse will probably be happier with doing less if it means a more relaxed and happier mom and wife.
When, after having this conversation, you find yourself saying no to activities, don’t feel bad. Remember you are saying yes to the ones that are most important to your family and allowing yourself the sanity to enjoy them.
What steps do you take to ensure you actually enjoy the Christmas season and focus on what’s most important?