I love Christmas. But I hate it too, and just go into survival mode each year as the season approaches and I am behind on everything.
I love Christmas decorations, Christmas movies, Christmas songs, and atmosphere of anticipation along with that certain wistful, homey feeling. And I really love the spiritual part too, feeling awestruck, and the building up to celebrating the birth of Jesus. But I hate the too-much-to-do, the crazy spending, the pressure to find the perfect gift for tons of people, the feelings of guilt when I just can’t pull off sending Christmas cards yet another year, and the pressure I put on myself to create a magical time for my family.
This just isn’t healthy at all.
My solution is to start in August. I hear others have done this, and I have planned to for about the last umpteen years, but this year I am actually going to do it. In fact, I already bought 2 of the 300 presents that I need to buy (or make, hahaha), bought some Christmas paper and ribbon, and scheduled our company Christmas dinner at the venue of our choice. And today I started perusing catalogs. So far, so good.
I also really do not like decorating for Christmas and then undecorating a few weeks later. However, I really love my home decorated for Christmas. Such a dilemma. I have already tried simplifying and downsizing, but it still takes many hours. I am pondering how to be wise about this. Maybe this year I could try hiring a teenager to help. Maybe I could simplify and downsize more. Maybe less is more. I will try to convince myself of that between now and then.
Another strategy I am going to employ is not taking on too many things, after all a person is finite. Last year was probably the most insane Christmas season that I can remember, and I definitely do not want a repeat of that type of Christmas. Here are some of the things that were on my plate: I was in the middle of my last class for my bachelor degree – Statistics, no less; I volunteered to be in charge of the Ugly Sweater Contest at work; I was responsible for hosting my husband’s company Christmas party in our home; I made Christmas-in-a-Bag’s for all the members of our church; I needed to make an impressive basket for a silent auction for my husband’s client; and we had a 5 day trip to Disney World the first week of December. Noodled into all of that was the usual holiday “necessities” and festivities.
No wonder I felt overwhelmed, but the clincher is that I really enjoy doing all of those things. I just need to know my limitations and be judicial in what I agree to take on.
So, this is a nudge to all of you who find yourselves in similar straits in December, and an encouragement to start now and approach Christmas in a wiser way.
Merry Christmas! Truly!!!
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