Monday, November 13, 2017

Simple Reminders for a Simple Holiday Season

And just like that it's mid-November.  Practically to Thanksgiving and then we're right into prime holiday craziness time.  For me, the season starts with Halloween, but I know that for many people, it's just starting now or at the Thanksgiving weekend.  Although I can feel the intensity of the season ramp up, I still like to keep things relaxed, even in December.  If you're like me and don't enjoy the holidays when they're stressful, here are a few reminders to help you keep things simple.

  • Presence is the best present.
  • But you can still shop and buy gifts, just don't make it the focus of your holiday season.
  • Spend mindfully.  If you plan and track, and really think about if and why something needs to be purchased, you won't be looking at a massive credit card bill in January.
  • Eat and drink just as mindfully.  Enjoy without overindulging and your scale won't be sad in January either.
  • 1 tree or even zero can be better than 12 if you want it to be.  Only put up the decor you love and if that's just 3 items, then enjoy the minimalism and relax.
  • It doesn't need to be perfect.  There are many more things about this time of year that matter more than how perfectly your decor is or isn't set up.
  • Declutter before gifts arrive.  This is more important if you have kids, but even John and I do it.  I know he'll get an influx of new clothes, so we declutter before the gifts even start, so it's not at all stressful to bring them home and put them away.
  • Make new traditions.  Ditch anything that you've been doing out of obligation and keep or start only traditions that you love.
  • Have fun.  There are going to be some things that you do that you don't love (maybe you don't enjoy wrapping, or shopping, or baking cookies, or taking the kids to pictures with Santa, but have deemed those things a necessary evil), so balance those things with activities that are really fun for you, like driving around to see Christmas lights or watching all your favorite holiday movies at home with a mug of hot chocolate.
  • Slow down.  There doesn't need to be an activity packed into every spare minute of the day.  Slow down and enjoy.
  • No is a complete sentence.  Don't attend any parties or accept any other invitations if you truly don't want to, or if you already have too much going on.
  • Remember that not everyone enjoys this time of year and many don't have the means to enjoy it the way they'd want to.  Donating your time and attention and money will quickly put your own season into perspective.
  • Don't compare.  Anything.  Not the decor compared to your neighbors, not the amount of gifts under your tree compared to your kid's best friend's tree.  Your holiday is your holiday.

Are you looking forward to a simpler holiday season this year?  Or do you just take the craziness and roll with it?

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