I feel anxiety and stress all around me. People have asked me if I am stressed about Christmas. I am not.
I haven't been stressed about the holidays in a VERY long time. The reason I am not stressed is because I decided I would no longer let them rule my emotions nor take over my life. It is ONE DAY. ONE DAY.
That is all, however we somehow make it into this HUGE stressful occasion. Why? It's because we play into whatever we see others do. Often, people overexert themselves and try to tackle the world during this time. All for ONE DAY. So we find ourselves feeling like if we aren't running around in circles, then we aren't #goals.
I don't want to be anyone's goal if it involves being all over the place. I would rather "miss the mark" than tire myself out. Besides, when I get too tired I get angry and that is never a win for anyone involved. (Ask my husband.)
For the second year in a row, I am hosting Christmas. You would think I would be drowning, but I am not. It's also my wedding anniversary this week and we haven't planned anything. Yet, I am still not stressed.
Why you may ask? Because I decided I am unwilling to take on others stress like I so often did in the past. Their emergency isn't mine.
So to help you all try to survive the holidays, I have put together a small list of what I do to stave off the stress that often occurs during the holiday season.
Here is how I survive the holidays:
1. I say no. In the holiest of tones, I may add. I do NOT pack my schedule full of parties, gift exchanges, and get togethers. If you only want to hang with me during the holidays, then I don't want to see you. End of story. I am around 364 other days, but now you want to show up in the midnight hour. NO!
2. I plan. I know I have a special gift when it comes to organizing and planning. (Nowhere NEAR my good friend Mrs. Trapp, but I take cues from her. She really needs to start a business.) I think about gifts and what not all year long and so when it comes time to execute, I can at the most optimal level. For example, I do NOT wait until I need something or want something for that matter. I start shopping as SOON as the thought hits me and I watch for the price. When I think it is as low as it will go, I purchase.
3. I delegate. Ok. Now, I liked writing this word down because it sounds like I ask for help when I need it. I DO NOT. HOWEVER, when I am on my last leg, I will delegate things to my husband. He has no problem hitting twelve stores to find the perfect gift. Ummm... not me. That's what Amazon Prime is for.
4. I prioritize. I start purchasing gifts for my household first and the I purchase for my other family and friends after they are done. You see if you don't have the people you live with done, then that causes undo stress. I get my four heartbeats done and then I can rest because everyone else is easier to shop for and I know how much money I really have left by then. Well, sometimes.
5. I rest. This has been a newer thing for me. I used to rush out and run with the crowds during Thanksgiving weekend. I don't any longer because 1) I don't enjoy it and 2) it makes me tired. I have learned to take breaks during my "Holiday Break". Some days I don't leave the house and watch Christmas movies all day.
6. I give myself grace. I know it looks like EVERYONE has their ish together. They don't-including me. I try to do my best and know that will always be enough.
7. I pray. I always pray to God to keep in the forefront of my mind, why I celebrate this day. I try to walk in this truth and that often keeps my mind at ease. Praying for peace is probably the biggest request I get and I often pray the same for myself.
8. I go for convenience. As many of you know, I LOVE AMAZON PRIME and that is what I use often to get gifts or I hit up my Target app and have it shipped to me or I pick it up in store. Either way, I don't have to battle stores like Toys R Us or Apple for my children. I also buy one type of wrapping paper for each of my children and wrap all their gifts in it. For example, my husband will get plaid paper, my son will get super hero paper (although he is 19), my 5 year-old daughter will get Disney princess paper, and my youngest will get Hello Kitty. I use gift bags for everyone else's presents. Dollar Tree has a warm place in my heart.
9. I don't compare. Some people have a knack for creating awesome holiday decor and baking amazing batches of cookies. I am not that person and I will NEVER be that person. Guess what? I am so okay with that. I get so tired of people, especially mamas wearing themselves out so they can make Instagram-worthy posts. Don't. The beauty in life is making it yours. Your gift may not be in home decor, but no one really cares if you think about it. I know people aren't coming to my house to see my decor. They are coming to see me. Remember this when you find yourself running around trying to make everything perfect.
10. I buy what I can afford. I know some people who give the most amazing gifts. I don't. I give what I can afford AND what I think someone would actually like AND use. So, I pay attention to what people say all year and try to purchase the item- if I can afford it. I know people who go into debt over ONE DAY. Not, Brinn. Not this family. We pay for gifts in cash. (I am trying to do Dave Ramsey and create various funds so I don't have to budget every October. My goal next year is to have Christmas fully funded by September. I digressed.) BUY WHAT YOU CAN AFFORD. Also, my kids get four items from us because we have SO many family members buying for them. This year I instituted the following gift rule. They get one gift they want. One gift they need. One gift they can wear and one gift they can read/learn from. It has made my life SO much easier.
And THIS, my lovelies is how I survive the holiday season.
That's it. It's really that simple.
I know you are thinking to yourself, that is not going to work for me. Well, I will say this, things will work for you only if YOU decide to make it work. MAKE. IT. WORK.
Then go have a nice mug of hot chocolate.
I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season.