How not to feel like a crazy person for the next 26 days.

It’s here y’all. The Holiday Season. We are IN IT. This year I want for all of us to have a smooth-sailing season, so I’ve been thinking of some ways that we could make this a stress free-ish holiday. And if you have any tips of your own please feel free to share them in the comments below.

  • Identify something that tends to make you crazy during this time of year and rework it. What is the one thing that stresses you out the most? For me, it’s not the big gifts that cause me grief, it’s all the dozens of little gifts that have to be bought before The Big Day. These are the gifts that I typically buy last because it’s so easy to forget that you need a Secret Santa gift for your kid’s school Christmas party. It’s stocking stuffers and gifts for teachers and a little something for the mail carrier and all the little gifts that tend to pop up at various times. This year, I decided to buy these gifts FIRST. It’s not even December 1, but I have approximately 75% of these little gifties already purchased and I hope to get the rest of them soon. I already feel better knowing I have these things stashed away for when I need them. Big load off my mind!
  • Identify a tradition that you would really like to give up. Do you hate going to the office Christmas party? Then don’t go. Beg off and go do something enjoyable instead. Do you hate the disaster that is exchanging gifts with your Aunt/Uncle/Cousins/InLaws? Then suggest that you all go out to dinner instead and just skip the gifts. Do you really have to exchange gifts that none of you really wanted in the first place and really can’t afford? No, actually you don’t! If the tradition is no longer working for you, then scrap it and make a new tradition to take its place.
  • Get the fun stuff in early. Go see the Christmas lights the first weekend in December. Go ice skating as soon as the rink opens up. Bake a Christmas treat on a random Tuesday night as a treat. Don’t wait to do the fun things the week before Christmas – do them now! Let that fun spirit carry you through the whole month.
  • Improve the moment. Do you love mailing out Christmas cards, but hate the time it takes to address them? Make it an experience: have some cocoa or tea (or wine), put on some music or a movie in the background and snuggle up on the couch with a writing tray and big blanket and spend an hour addressing cards. Or invite your girlfriends over to have a Card Addressing Party – you’ll get in some good gabbing time and your cards will be done before you know it. I sometimes hate wrapping gifts, but one of my most treasured Christmas memories was when I was 7 months pregnant with my first baby and I couldn’t sleep, so I got up in the middle of the night, turned on the Christmas tree lights and wrapped presents at 2:00 in the morning. Sitting in the soft glow of the tree lights, with a Christmas movie playing low on the TV, I wrapped for about 2 hours, just by myself. It was such a sweet, peaceful time that I’ll never forget. Even if it’s a chore you don’t particularly like, there are always ways you can make it more enjoyable.

The thought that I really want to embrace this holiday season is that it’s okay to do things differently. If something isn’t working, why continue it? We can make things hectic and crazy for ourselves, or we can focus on the things that really make us happy and peaceful. I don’t want to spend the next 4 weeks being crabby and stressed out and repeatedly saying “I’ll be glad when it’s over”…no, I want to be happy to be celebrating all month long. We can refuse to buy into the thought that Christmas always has to be stressful and ridiculous. We can instead choose to have a joyous holiday and enjoy being with family and friends.

Have you given up a holiday tradition for a better one? What do you do to keep yourself sane during this time of year? Share in the comments below please!



4 thoughts on “How not to feel like a crazy person for the next 26 days.

  1. On the card topic, I have seriously bad handwriting. I have to recruit one of the girls. (And I realized as I read that I would be very smart to load addresses in the computer so they could be printed on labels. I even have the labels. And I have the cards.) I agree totally, company during these types of things helps hugely. If someone is sitting in my kitchen visiting with me, I can clean or cook for hours. My girls skype or FaceTime their friends at other colleges while they do things (like projects) all the time.

    I buy gifts all year. All different occasions. Carters 3piece baby outfit originally $32 on clearance for $9, future baby gift for example. Wooden bowls at annual craft show, great wedding or housewarming gift.

    Sometimes these are intended for a specific person and a specific event – flea market/my middle/Shepard’s hook/Christmas was a real find at $12. It has been in the back of my closet since June. Last year all of our gifts to her were in my closet way in advance. This year too.

    My middle did most of her shopping out of my stash. $40 gloves for $7. $50 blocks for $20. Keen’s shoes for $50. I have a good eye. I texted her as I found those and bought for her to reimburse and use. Her shopping is done, she has everything wrapped. I like to be mostly done by thanksgiving too. So I totally relate to the little things in advance.

    There are some people that I do not buy in advance. My oldest for example. I do not try to surprise him. We agree on gifts. Last two years we went shoe shopping. This year computer parts.

    Youngest tends to be big things too. One year it was a drill for combination birthday and Christmas. She picked it out and it had to be special ordered. Boots for birthday last year which had to be special ordered too. Fitbit and trip for xmas this year. Saw for her coming birthday, which I still have to research and get.

    I make a lot of things too. Making usually costs more than buying these days.

  2. Well, I pretty much eliminated anything remotely crazy years ago. It makes Christmas very peaceful. Of course, you know which suggestion I like best–“Bake a Christmas treat on a random Tuesday night as a treat. “

  3. Well Polish tradition are different than your but i try to do thigs you mention as well – it`s so stressful for me to buy gifts, I`m afraid I`ll not have enough time – so I do this infirst place, First Sunday of Advent (do yuo have this? 4 Sundays before Christmas it`s in church time of preparation to Christmas) we bake Gingerbreads (this year first time with my 22 months old daughter), soon we`ll go and see Christmas decoration in town, I managed to remove stressful situations/ traditions so I could enjoy the Christams time even before. In Poland women go crazy about cleaning houses for Christmas but I just do the normal cleaning but I have more time for my daughters to do funny and joyful stuff (like cards, home made decorations etc) together. I love this season!

  4. December is always my least favorite month. I can’t stand all of the get togethers. Seriously, we pick this one month to see everyone we haven’t seen all year. I hate it. I hate the stress. I hate the fact that it messes up my routine. I hate it.

    This year, I had two party invitations until this morning, when a third was added. I may beg off one already. I just don’t want to make life so stressful.

    I don’t know what to get my mother-in-law. She is in a nursing home and has dementia, so she doesn’t really know what is up or down. She still recognizes us, but… This is adding a stress to my life.

    Cards…we do a photo greeting every year and I’m not sure we picked ours out just yet. I already have labels pre-made. It’s always so sad to go through the labels and edit the ones for deceased relatives and friends who are now divorced. I like your idea of making a project out of it with Christmas music and a glass of wine. It will seem like less of a project that way!

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