Who loves the holidays? Raising my hand! Me! Yay!
Who hates the holidays? Raising my hand! Me! Boo!
If you feel like this about the holidays, you’re not alone. I think for every one of us there are aspects we totally dig and aspects we could just not care less about.
(And as I write that very sentence, the things I dislike are running through my head and making my body feel tired and heavy. Great.)
So, here’s the thing. There are awesome parts of the holidays.
And they are different for each person.
I dig putting up the tree, baking, and our Solstice celebration.
There are also not awesome part of the holidays.
And they are different for each person.
I dislike shopping, and cleaning, and writing cards.
(ohmygod, and chit chat. I really don’t like holiday chitchat. But that’s just my personality…)
Of course, some of you are thinking, “but I LOOOOVE the shopping!” or whatever.
And that’s awesome.
The simple truth is, the holidays have their joys and their sorrows. And they are unique to each of us.
Here’s how to deal with the mixed bag of joys and responsibilities.
1. Make space to decompress and enjoy.
Space. The final frontier.
Okay, seriously, not a Star Trek joke.
To make the holidays feel better and leave room for more fun stuff, think about scheduling down time and open space NOW. Down time- just to breathe- is so important in these crazy-busy-tinseled out weeks. Put it in your calendar like you’re going to go pick up your lottery check. It’s that important and impactful.
2. Focus on what you enjoy most.
What brings you joy is going to give you energy to do the things that don’t bring so much joy. Make sure you get the fun stuff in your calendar and keep those things sacred. Because they are. Don’t give up your joy to any grinch!
3. If you care, do it. If no one cares, don’t.
If you really care about something during the holidays, of you FREAKING LOVE IT, do it. If you’re a little ‘meh’ then cross it off the list. Refuse to be ‘half joyful.’ And do it even if no one else wants to.
On the other hand, if you’re doing stuff that no one cares about (even you) feel free to let it go. People will show us what they care about- believe them. Let go and find new traditions.
Pick less stuff to do. Seriously, simple as that. Your kids don’t need to do All The Things. And you don’t have to be dragged into that one party/family get together you hate. Tell people you’re simplifying for the holidays. That you’re feng shu-ing your life. Or doing ‘that declutter/KonMari thing’ on the holidays. They’ll think you’re going through a phase- let them. And then sit down and relax.
5. Be willing to let go and have fun.
Seriously, when was the last time you had fun? Did you make a snow angel last year? Did you laugh with a girlfriend at a twinkly-light-filled bar? Did you stand out in the dark while the snow fell and wonder at what Nature makes? I double dog dare you to try being more fun this year.
(And if you’re super brave and have someone who will listen- be filled with the hope of a child and tell someone what you really, really want for a gift. It’s courageous to dream and share.)
What you really want to know: do I do this stuff?
Five years ago or so we decided that we’d had enough of activities. Now each person gets to pick one activity they LOVE and we do those and leave it at that. Also: I schedule the shizz out of that stuff.
My husband and I attend 2-3 holiday parties and we talk about when we want to leave beforehand, and we leave when we’re done (and we don’t feel guilty!).
And I do write my cards, but with a favorite beer and the promise of sex afterwards (cycle depending). Holiday cards as foreplay- nothing like getting creative!
So, yeah, adulting through the holidays can be tough. There are beauties and minefields. Try just one of these five things and see if it doesn’t bring more beauty to your holidays. And, really- schedule it now. You’ll feel like a boss from the get-go.