People seem to be a lot nicer and giving during the holidays, and it's a nice change from everyday life. It really makes me kinda warm and happy. Granted this type of happiness is like a rollercoaster: with the giving and cheer happening around Thanksgiving, then there is the rampage and fighting like you are Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (it's an 80s movie reference, FYI) because you have to get that "best deal of the year", and then the hustle and overwhelming-ness comes into play. Yes, the holidays are nice, but with kids running around, being in cleaning mode, family dinners, and being in a state of craziness for a few days, you can tend to loose your sh*t. And by sh*t, I mean mind.
But, that's ok... cause I have five tips for a calmer holiday and guess what... they will help you enjoy this time of the year.
1. say "no"
Parties, kids activities, family activities, Christmas card photos, gift shopping, and everything else in between can fill up your schedule really fast, and can lead to a holiday mental breakdown, but it doesn't have to. Sometimes for your sanity, you need to lessen your load and say no. No time for Christmas card photos? Just use the one of the family at the beach. Five parties to go to in one day? Pick two, and explain that you can't make the other ones. Seven different kinds of cookies to make? Unless you are giving cookies in lieu of gifts, just pick a few kinds and say no to the rest (or you can go grab cookies from the store- like Pepperidge Farm & package them nicely). I know it's hard to say no sometimes, but honestly, it can also be nice to just relax.
2. be polite, with a twist
Ok, so I know being polite is a given during the holidays, but sometimes, you need to be polite without compromising yourself. If someone makes a comment about why you're late, blame it on the fact that it's below zero outside, and you would've rather been in your bed all nice and snuggly. If someone hates their gift, offer a gift receipt. Simple. Oh, and yeah... don't partake in family drama discussions. I know it's fun, but trust me, it isn't worth it when you get a call at 2am from your drunk cousin asking why your husband said something.
3. stop trying to please everyone
Let's face it, as much as you try to clean your house, make your Christmas cards go out the week before Christmas, or buy your mom the best gift in the world, it isn't going to please everyone. Someone is still going to make a comment that get's under your skin (if so, refer to #2), or critique something that you bought... so in the spirit of love and the holiday, just stop.
4. your tree, house, decorations, etc looks fine... so stop cleaning
Hosting family gatherings at your place means cleaning. Alot. Why? Because sometimes you feel the need to have everything perfect, and other times you need to refer to #1 and #2 & just tidy up. To declutter, throw unneeded things into a basket and put in a closet that you know that no one will open. Instead of sweeping the floor, use this handy tool (ps. there's a giveaway for one here too!).
5. drink. alot.
There is just something about drinking and holidays that makes sense... I mean, they say that St.Nick was a jolly old man, right? Maybe he was just happy on spiced eggnog? Pretty much, when all else fails, open that bottle of wine or nog and drink up buttercup.
How do you stay calmer during the holidays?