It’s the most wonderful time of the year!
Christmas decorations, beautiful lights, Santa Claus parades, Holiday parties, and the hustle & bustle in the stores as we search out for that perfect gift… all while carols sing to us. I am in the Christmas spirit… this year!
I have to admit that, until recently, I actually dreaded this time of year. I felt over-worked, over-obligated and overwhelmed! The joy had been sucked out and I simply went through the motions without any enthusiasm or holiday cheer.
It has been five years since we had a Christmas tree, because the thought of picking it out, decorating it and then tearing down – with needles all over the house – was just too much!
I know I am not the only woman who feels this way, and here’s why:
We do most everything around the holidays! The cooking, the baking, the shopping, writing the Christmas cards, planning the parties, decorating, and and and… the list goes on.
“WE CAN DO IT ALL!” we tell ourselves – and we do.
But maybe you are like me and have come to a point where you’re feeling burnt out and overwhelmed before the season even begins. I longed to sip on glass of wine while sitting in front of my fireplace in silence, wearing my navy blue flannel pyjamas adorned with cute little penguins – which for me, a self-confessed social butterfly, was definitely weird!
Here are 4 ways I brought the spirit of the season back into my home and heart:
1) Don’t try to do it all!
Invitations will be coming from all directions with the added hand-written note, “We need to get together before Christmas!”.
Why?! Is the sender going to disappear on Boxing Day?! Not likely.
Be choosy; only accept the invitations that you truly want to attend.
I completely understand that is actually easier said than done and that certain functions are essentially mandatory, but often a gracious “Thank you for the invitation but I am unable to attend” will suffice. Save some socializing for mid January and February when things have settled down and everyone is feeling blah and needs a party fix!
My husband has been doing the Christmas cards for a few years now. If he doesn’t do them, they don’t get done and I am ok with that. I don’t hound him. I simply let it go. Same goes for shopping, decorating or cleaning: ask for help, or even hire it out if it’s within your budget!
3) Host potluck dinner parties!
Take the pressure off both financially and time spent in the kitchen) and have some fun tasting your friends’ favourite dishes! Plus, any guest on a special dietary plan can accommodate for that themselves. Food really brings people together, and potlucks seem to do so even more. Lots of recipe exchanges happen during a potluck, so have a few copies on standby in your purse. Oh and by the way – don’t feel bad if you buy something to bring, instead of making something from scratch!!
4) Take time to do things you enjoy!
I love to bake any time of year, but especially during Christmas season. Even during my “Scrooge” years I still baked up a storm!
I feel at peace baking, with candles lit, music in the background and the kitchen a disaster zone of flour, egg shells and empty chocolate chip bags. Family and friends would disown me if they went a year without a tin full of goodies, I’m sure!
Self care is important all year round, but it’s easy to let it slide and make ourselves a lower priority while trying to meet all our obligations. Schedule your “me time” in now and make it non-negotiable.
What other tips do you have for making sure the holiday season is your most wonderful time of the year? Leave a comment to let me know!