It seems right around this time people start to feel frazzled and acted stressed. The lady in line at the post office was pretty annoyed that she had to wait for the one person ahead of us. "I haven’t even started shopping yet," I’ve heard from dozens of people. A lot of people say that don’t have time for one more thing on their list, much less all the Christmas prep. Faces turn grumpier, tempers get shorter and the stress can be felt in the air.
But, it doesn’t have to be that way. You get to choose the kind of holiday you want. You can go away with your husband. You can decide not to put up a tree. If the family complains, they can put it up.
You can keep the traditions that are important to you and your family and let go of ones where you are just going through the motions.
Don’t get stressed because that’s what everyone is doing. Think of ways to counteract the stress. What are the hardest parts of the holidays for you to deal with?
If you have been exchanging gifts with a large group of people, now may be the year to make that group smaller. Some of your extended family and friends may even be relieved. Or you can decide to go sledding as a group or do a white elephant exchange.
Can you have a potluck dinner instead of doing the whole dinner yourself?
Do you need to bake that many cookies or bake anything at all?
Is Christmas time, the best time to host a party?
If it doesn’t work well this year than next year you can simple add back in baking or the party.
Other People’s Stress
A lot of your stress may be from being around other stressed people. Just going to the store right now can trigger it. When you start to breathe faster, clench your teeth and feel frustrated, ask yourself if there is any reason for you to be stressed at this moment. And take a few deep breaths.
It’s tough to slow down in the midst of frantic people trying to create the perfect holiday. But, you will feel so much better being counter-cultural.
Do you have any ways that you beat holiday stress?