Friday, October 26, 2012
Avoid the Holiday insanity
© Robert5061 | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos
Does it seem like the Holidays hit you like a tsunami? Do you barely have time to recover when the shock waves knock you over again?
It has become out of control for so many of us. I saw a sign that said "Are you ready for Merry Hallowthanksmas?" A few year ago my Mother said "enough is enough!" and the holiday season has been so much better for all of us.
Some tips for slowing down and elimintating stress from the holiday season.
Can you get together another time of year?
Is there a group of people you get together with during the holiday season that would benifit from getting together at a later date? Maybe you could suggest something like, "I enjoy getting together with you, but the holidays are so busy for all of us. Maybe we could get together in February or March and do a Weekend brunch (or whatever seems appropriate for the group). I really want to spend time with you and catch up on what is going on with your life, I think we could do this better when we are not all so busy."
We had a Christmas party on Valentine's day one year. Our freinds had a foreign exchange student at the time. You can imagine his surprise and perplexed look. "I thought Christmas was in December?" He didn't quite get it, but he had a nice time. We were able to really enjoy one another and it was a lovely party.
Gifts and more gifts oh my!
Instead of a pile of gifts so high they could reach to the moon and back. Let's settle down and give a few gifts and really enjoy them. I was surprised by a movie I watched recently. It was set in the wild west. It was Christmas. The main character was a young lady in her first year of marriage away from her family. She worked hard and made gifts for her new family, (the farmhands on the ranch). One of the older gray haired gentleman said "Thank you, this is the first Christmas gift I have ever recieved." It struck me. If we were to be transported back to that time, all the gifts for one family would fill that old farmhouse cabin and be spilling out the door. The family would have to sleep out in the barn with the animals. Sometimes we get so overwhelmed by the river of gifts we cannot enjoy them, we get swept away.
Janice of celebrating family has written a great post detailing how they got away from the pile of presents. They made a move to real gift giving with a meaningful purpose. The link to her post is included below
Celebrating family... gift giving with purpose
Do you really need to give gifts to your second cousin's dog?
How many neighbors do you really need to give to?
How about Teachers and others, could you recognize them and give them gifts later on?
A surpise gift in the middle of the year can go alot further than a token gift lost in the shuffle of a busy holiday season!
Non traditional gifts:
The promise of time spent later on.
My parents speak the language of time spent together. Over the last few years they have given up the traditional gifts and spend the money on a summer getaway for us all. Christmas is a real joy, we get an envelope with a note that tells us what summer getaway Mom and Dad are planning. It has really helped the stress level for my parents, and we get a chance to all get together again.
The gift of service.
Some of my favorite Christmas memories are the years that we gave service. We spent several years working on service projects instead of exchanging gifts one with another. Those things make memories.
Now is the time to re-evaluate. What are the things that are most important to you for the Holiday season? How can you simplify the holiday season? Are there some traditions that can be simplified or eliminated? What are your biggest holiday stressors? What can you do to lessen or eliminate those stressors? What can you do to increase holiday joy?
Now it is your turn. Leave a comment below as to what you are going to do different this holiday season.