Now that Thanksgiving is officially over and we are in the full swing of the Christmas hustle and bustle, your attention is probably focused on providing the best Christmas or Hanukkah and/or Kwanzaa experience for your family. In the past, each year, I have gone out of my way to get everything possible to make our Christmas in our home the best ever. I’ve purchased unique ornaments in different color schemes, decorated the house in holiday gear, hung lights all over the stairs and outside on the frame of the house and in the bushes, spent countless hours shopping online or in the stores to make sure everyone got what they wanted. And I have even slaved away for weeks planning the perfect Christmas Eve party, an event that I give every year in my home for family and close friends.
I’m such a perfectionist and I get carried away on having things just right. There have been nights that I haven’t slept because I am thinking about what gift to get this person or what the menu will be for my Christmas dinner. I noticed that instead of enjoying this time of the year, I became stressed and irritable because I was trying for something that would never happen. No matter what I did, how hard I worked, it’s never going to be perfect.
So this year, I have vowed to celebrate and appreciate this special time with my friends and family. No longer will I try to outdo the previous year’s festivities with coming up with the biggest shindig around. It’s not about perfection or showing off or any of that. It’s about peace and love and giving and remembering the birth of Christ.
If you are like me and are looking for perfection this holiday season, don’t. Subscribe to the following rules to get the most out of your holiday:
- Don’t take on more than you can handle. If you signed up to be on the PTA Holiday Party Committee as well as the Neighborhood Watch Holiday Party Chair as well as various other parties, organizations and your family commitments, you are stretching yourself too thin. You are only one person plus you will need time to have fun yourself!
- Stick to a budget and stay within it. Don’t get carried away just because you saw a sale. Going broke for Christmas is not a good look. Stick to the budget and once you’ve hit that amount, don’t over do it.
- Don’t be afraid to say no. It’s not possible to go to every party and every event you are invited to. Don’t feel bad by telling someone no. Put yourself and your family first. Make sure if you get an invite and you don’t want to attend that you decline properly before the RSVP deadline.
- Put yourself first. If you start to feel stressed out, take a time-out and do something for yourself. Whether it’s getting a massage (my personal favorite), listening to jazz or soft music, talking to a friend, or writing, don’t lose yourself in the madness of the holiday.
- Let your kids know there are limits. If your kids are anything like mine, their expectations go up tenfold during the holiday season. Have a talk with them one-on-one or in a group and let them know what you expect out of them as far as help and responsibilities, and that there is a limit to what can be done. Those limits have to be enforced.
- Lending money during the holiday season is a no-no when you know you aren’t going to get it back. Be mindful of this. And if you do lend it to someone who you know is not going to pay you back, don’t call it a loan. Call it what it is, which is a gift. And if you can’t afford to lend and/or give the money, don’t do it. Don’t put yourself in a bind.
These are just a few simple rules that I plan to follow this year to ensure that I have a happy and healthy holiday season minus the drama and stress. I hope all of you have wonderful experiences this Christmas. Comment and let me know what you think of this article!