The holiday season can be an extremely stressful one considering the fact that this is one of the most traveled time of the year, and the most expensive time of year. But how do you over come the holiday stress and just enjoy yourself? Keep reading if your ready to have a stress free easy going end of the year.
The holidays can be a stressful time for all of us. Over all for me this is such a busy time of year as well as a financially taxing time of year. The only way I manage to flow through the holiday season with ease is to be mindful as to what it's truly about for me and my family, which is love and giving back. People aim to be impressive during the holidays. It becomes less about love, family, and gratefulness and more about how well your home is decorated, how many presents you have under the tree, and looking good at the big family dinner. Peoples expectations are also so high this time of year, and we find ourselves going out of our way to people please. This has definitely been me in the past however, as the years have gone by I have found smarter stress free ways that allow me to enjoy the holiday season and focus on what truly matters. Check out the ways that you can do the same.
Planning- Knowing what your willing to do and what your not willing to do at the beginning of the season helps tremendously. We usually will talk things over as a family and agree on what we will be involved in this month. We discuss if we will be traveling, hosting family events, and what types of gifts or donating we are going to do during this season. When you know what you want to do and how you want to do it, things usually go over better.
Give Back- The best things during this season you can do with your time and money is giving to those that are less fortunate than you are. I have already explained the basics of Christmas to my children, they aren't caught up in advertisements and material gifts ( not from me anyway lol). They get more of a thrill by giving back. This year we have kept it simple. We first want to honor the people that service our neighborhood like our trash men and our mail man by giving simple gifts of cards of appreciation. You can even do simple $5.00 gift cards for fast food or coffee. We also have decided to do simple care packs for the homeless. These care packs can be easily created by filling a ziplock bag with a fresh pair of socks or gloves, toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant, a snack and a kind note. Most of these items can be found at your local dollar store so they aren't expensive to create. You can also help yourself and the homeless by giving away gently used clothing and toys, declutter and give back all at once!
Homemade Presents- As a family we also like to create homemade gifts for our loved ones. These are usually something edible, but this year we are going to give self care gifts ( soaps & body butters) and send out Christmas Cards. Creating homemade gifts allow you to make something for everyone without having to spend a whole lot of money to do it. My favorite thing to make is Hot Chocolate on a stick you can eat them as candies or drop them in a glass or warm milk either way is amazing.
Host A Laid Back Family Event- Instead of having a big and time consuming dinner on Christmas Day host something more laid back that the family can come to your place and do. Like a movie or game night. By doing this you create a space where you are spending time with your family without the constraints of gift giving or slaving over a hot stove. Order pizza and wings and just have a good time.
Self Care Days- This time of year is a great time to be self-less but its also a time of year that people begin to focus on themselves more thinking of new years resolutions and all. I say this is the time of year to relax more. My mind recently almost got bogged down with family issues, feelings of obligation, and unwanted travel. Then I decided that I don't HAVE to do anything I don't want to do. The best way to feel stress free is to not add any unwanted stress on your plate especially ones that don't belong to you. Instead use this time to meditate more, read uplifting material, and have fun planning your next few months.
I hope that reading these little suggestions makes a huge difference in how you view the holiday season and that you make the best decisions for you and your family that allow you to enjoy all of the special things about the winter season. Sip hot cocoa in front of the fireplace, find free events to go or ride around and look at Christmas lights. Whatever you do don't get the holiday blues, life is about celebrating what you already have and who you already are if thats something your having a hard time with then simply change your mind! Happy holidays from my family to yours!