1). Wake up every morning and have your coveted beverage (mine is coffee!) in your favorite holiday mug. Write 3 things you will be grateful for this season. And don’t feel like you need to post on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram. Gratitude is still gratitude even if no one hears you say it.
2). Write your YES list. Here is a sampling of mine:
YES I will enjoy and savor the holiday time with family and friends.
YES I will remember what matters most.
YES I will light a fire in the fireplace every night.
YES I will be organized but not obsessive about doing it all RIGHT or PERFECT.
YES I will decorate my home with love and prayer as I put up trees, ornaments, and festive décor.
YES I will send Christmas cards, at some point.
YES I will smile at EVERYONE on my errands and shopping.
YES I will be thankful I GET TO SHOP (meaning, I have funds $$ to do this) for family and friends and teachers and therapists and sitters.
3). Skip sending out the holiday card this year OR modify expectations around this tradition.
Last year I passed on this. EEK! It was hard for me and at first I felt like I needed permission or approval. But once I told the hubby, I JUST CAN’T this year, and said out loud I AM NOT and IT’S OK, I was so free. FREE! Try it. It was therapy to NOT send it out in 2015.
I am sending one this year, but I did not buy everyone a new outfit for the photo. I also did not do the “cool location, and with props” that I had in mind. Chris said, “Let’s use the backyard and keep it simple. The lighting is just right.” I relinquished grand plans. We did not hire a professional, although my friend’s husband COULD BE. (Thank you Patrick!!)
4). Pick one service/love project for the season. JUST ONE. Do this as a family. The possibilities are endless. Keep it simple.
5). Set up your holiday décor WHENEVER it works for you. It does not have to be Thanksgiving weekend or first of December. And if you have pesky precocious toddlers with Grabby Hands, get a small tree and put up high. OR—-skip the tree altogether. NO WAY! Yes way, mamas. The Holiday Police will not knock on your doors and haul you away.
6). Don’t go on social media till after January 1st. You create your holidays YOUR way and you don’t need the Non-Recovering Perfectionists out there with their Perfect Pix stealing your joy. “Comparison is the thief of joy,” remember this. You keep your Christmas joy by staying off the inter-webs, and focusing on what matters. Family, Friends, Faith, Giving, Generosity.
7). Breathe. Take deep breaths. This requires you to sloooow down and take a conscious break. Have a little mantra/breath prayer that keeps your perspective and priorities in the forefront of your mind and heart. Here’s mine:
Breathe in: Love, faith, light, joy, giving, truth.
Breathe out: Stress, unrealistic expectations, need for control.
Happy Merry what ever you celebrate this season!! Know that you are thought of and prayed for, dear ones.