Did you successfully survive Black Friday and Cyber Monday without having to spend all of Tuesday catching your breath? The holidays are more like a marathon, I think, rather than a short sprint. “The most wonderful time of the year” can have a lot of expectations and stress associated with it. I think there are a couple things to remember to help make happy holiday memories and keep your festive season merry and bright.
- Make a budget and then stick to it. Money doesn’t really buy happiness, so avoid going into debt chasing the unattainable. A few moments of happiness won’t make up for painful credit card bills that could chase you into the New Year.
- Learn to say no and mean it. The holiday season requires sleep. Between the school functions, baking, shopping, holiday parties, and family events above and beyond your normal commitments, it might not be possible to attend everything. Make a plan for what you would like to do and see how realistic it is. It can be hard to turn yourself into a social butterfly when for the most of the year going out once or twice a month is all you do. Saying no to events goes together with…
- Take some time for yourself. Don’t skip your spin or yoga class. You won’t be happy if you don’t comfortably fit into your favourite pair of pants by the time January rolls around. It is also good to get some downtime, however you may spend it. With only 24 hours in the day, prioritizing is key.
- Be realistic. Life just isn’t like the movies. I don’t know about you, but I’m not Martha Stewart and I’m ok with that. My Christmas tree is never going to look like hers and nor is my Christmas dinner (although my front door wreath is really close!). Focus on what you do have and enjoy it! Set the bar of your expectations at an attainable level so that you aren’t setting yourself up for disappointment. You’ll never notice all the wonderful things around you if you are looking for perfection.
- Enjoy what the season has to offer. What are your favourite things to do during the holiday season? Make them happen! Can’t remember the last time you missed the Santa Claus Parade? Make sure this year isn’t any different. Whether it be watching holiday movies or kicking back with hot chocolate and spending time with the people who mean the most to you, these activities shouldn’t be skipped if that’s how you enjoy spending your time.
Christmas can be an emotional time, especially with all the expectations and the hectic pace. Enjoy the season no matter how much (or little!) you choose to do by staying true to yourself and managing your expectations. Treasure your traditions, but be willing to compromise and be flexible. Enjoy rockin’ around the Christmas tree and let there be peace on earth.