Excited about the holidays but dreading the end-of-year rush? If so, you are not alone. Most parents approach the season with equal parts excitement and trepidation, which can lead to difficulties with decision-making from moment to moment. These five tips will help you preserve your family’s good cheer all the way through the most wonderful time of the year.
Go For Good Enough
If you have an idea in your mind of the “perfect” holiday, you may be disappointed when your imperfect brood can’t uphold your image. Aim for “good enough” instead. You’ll smile more if you can let unimportant things—like slightly burnt cookies, lights that won’t blink in unison, and late holiday cards—slide.
Just Hit Delete
If you think your holiday schedule is grossly overloaded, call a family meeting and vote on what to scratch off your joint to-do list. Decide what you don’t want to do, first. Then decide what matters most to each family member. A one-gift-per-family-member tradition might be a sanity-saving plan that sticks.
Call In Fresh Recruits
Even if you don’t normally hire a housecleaner, you probably could use some help now. Why not call in a cleaning service in mid-December and in mid-January to bookend the holidays, even if you don’t use one the rest of the year? Consider it a holiday present to yourself.
Shop The Plan
First, the plan: write down the names of everyone you truly want to give to and what you think they would like. Then, shop: keep the list in your wallet to jog your memory when hunting down a gift for each person you cherish. For store shopping, pay cash, so you won’t overspend. For online shopping, search for coupons before ordering and act early for cheaper shipping.
Traditions are wonderful but let’s face it, sometimes even the fondest can become tired. So, if you don’t feel like tromping around all afternoon hunting for the most splendiferous evergreen on the tree farm or frying the most perfect potato latkes, buy a pre-cut tree at your local grocery store or pick up latkes at the deli instead. Use saved time to enjoy tree trimming or dreidel playing instead.
You’ll feel more holly-jolly if can get calm and stay centered all holiday season long.