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December 12, 2021: Timely Tips For The Holidays

It’s the most wonderful time of the year,

With the kids jingle belling,

And everyone telling you be of good cheer,

It’s the most wonderful time of the year

Andy Williams

It is a wonderful time of the year, but with all of the increased demands on our time, social events, and additional obligations, this holiday season can easily turn into feelings of being overloaded and overwhelmed. We want to be able to relax and savor these special days, but the seemingly endless to-do list can lead to a sense of chaos and non-stop rushing around. In checking with the busy but productive elves at the North Pole (and other fonts of information), here are some tips that might help you enjoy and savor, not just survive, the coming few weeks.

  1. Release expectations for perfection. Although the media, from magazines to Christmas movies, shows us perfectly decorated houses, gourmet meals, and museum worthy decorated cookies & wrapped presents, we don’t have to wear that mantle of responsibility. I love to decorate, that’s important to me, but my cookies are made with granddaughters and their beauty is in the memory of baking together not the appearance.
  2. Evaluate what’s the most important and meaningful for you and prioritize your time. When you are looking at all of the events, invitation and tasks, you can choose how and where you spend your energy and precious time. What gives you the most joy?
  3. Be flexible with your dreams, hopes and traditions. Once our kids got married and had in-laws and families of their own, we had to shift the days when we could get together to celebrate Christmas. Covid’s restrictions on family gatherings altered the landscape of past holidays. We have discovered as as family, that although it might not be on Christmas Day, the time together is more relaxed and just as meaningful.
  4. Manage your time, (something I struggle with), is a key. Once you’ve determined and prioritized what actually has to happen, open up your calendar. Estimate the time involved in each activity, and then begin placing, like a jigsaw puzzle, where you can fit each one in. Whether it’s a shopping trip with your best friend, cookie making with your kids, or attending a sing-a-long, these are potential memories you can create by scheduling them like an appointment you want to keep.
  5. Shop Smart by choosing times when stores are less crowded. If you are shopping online, ordering sooner than later, will allow your gifts to arrive in time for you to give or mail out. The United States Post Office advises mailing by the 17th. To review other recommended mailing dates: here’s a link to explore your options.https://www.npr.org/2021/12/02/1060605768/shipping-deadlines-for-christmas-usps-ups-fedex
  6. Delegate your tasks and don’t be afraid to ask for help. I used to think I had to do it all. And after every Christmas, I would end up getting bronchitis from being so exhausted and run-down. Once I let go of the self-imposed mandate of perfection, I was able to let go of my own expectations and invite others in to help. Decorating our Christmas tree now has helping hands that are a lot smaller than mine. Although it no longer looks like it could grace the cover of a magazine, it has created treasured memories of giggles and laughter as ornaments are hung on the tree. I’ve also recruited my husband in the wrapping department. I had to let go of the image of perfectly decorated presents and learned to appreciate the relief of having one more task finished.
  7. Treasure the memories and traditions but don’t be afraid to make news ones. The holiday season can be a bittersweet one, especially when missing others who are no longer with us. Unpacking ornaments given to me by my mom, always brings back a sense of nostalgia of all the ones we shared together. I miss her even more this time of year as she certainly loved Christmas. Many of our own family traditions are a legacy she created. But in the past few years, we’ve created new ones cherished by our own grandchildren, like decorating a tree for the birds on Christmas Eve. Rolling pinecones in peanut butter and stringing berries and fruit on string is now part of our Christmas Eve repertoire of events.
  8. Take time for self-care. From personal experience, when we don’t take the time to care for ourselves, our health can suffer. Managing the stress is key and knowing how the holidays can produce it, we can be pre-emptive and schedule in time for ways to nurture our own selves.

What ways have you discovered help you manage the hubbub of this holiday? We would love to hear your responses! In the meantime, thank you for taking the time out of your busy life to read our blog. We invite you to share it with someone who might find it meaningful.

Best regards,


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