The Christmas holiday season can be extremely stressful. Between the work parties, school parties, and family get-togethers the overload of constantly being on the go and feeling obligated to buy gifts for everyone can leave you in a funk. I know because I've been there, am there now, and will probably not listen to my own advice and be there again! However, each Holiday season I do get better with not beating myself up over not buying everyone gifts and learning how to say no to invitations when I'm already feeling overwhelmed.
I've came up with a few tips, that hopefully I'll listen to in the future:
REMEMBER THE REASON FOR THE SEASON
At times, we get super wrapped up in pleasing everyone, that we forget why we celebrate Christmas to begin with. I know I'm guilty! The Christmas Holidays is not about the presents; it's about spending quality time with the people you care about. It's about the gathering of friends and family. It's about celebrating the birth of Jesus. One of the main reasons we have the custom of giving and receiving presents at Christmas, is to remind us of the presents given to Jesus by the Three Wise Men
DON'T GO BROKE TRYING TO PLEASE OTHERS
Something I'm guilty of again. I'm getting better at it though! But it's hard to not buy gifts for those that you love. A few years back, we decided to quit going overboard on gifts for our children. We limited it to 3-4 gifts a piece. That's it. We also stopped buying gifts for others. Do I feel guilty for not giving when I'm receiving? Of course, I do! But, again, something I struggle with, is that when you don't have it to give, you don't have it. You just simply cannot go broke trying to impress others. Well, what about your kids, you might say? Well, if we've taught them the true meaning of Christmas, they won't be disappointed when they don't get everything they wanted. We get so wrapped up in the outside world, that we forget about our world in front of us. I guarantee that children are more impressed and grateful in the long run to experiences and time spent with each other, than the latest toy or gadget or the amount of gifts they did or didn't receive.
YOUR MENTAL HEALTH COMES FIRST
For the sake of your sanity, you do not have to visit or invite everyone in your family for the holidays. Sometimes, it's just not worth it. Some family members are toxic to your health. The holidays are a time to relax and enjoy the season, not a time to be stressed. Don't use the holidays as a time or place to try and mend broken relationships, it can turn sour fast. IF you find yourself in a situation where you are around toxic family members, limit your timeframe on how long you'll be visiting. If you are not in control of the transportation, simply excuse yourself from wherever the toxic family member is and go elsewhere in the home, like outside if weather permits. Don't ever feel guilty for avoiding toxic family members during the Christmas holidays. Not everyone who is in your life was meant to stay there and family is no exception. It doesn't matter if they are parents, aunts, siblings, or grandparents; your mental health is more important.
CREATE JOYFUL MEMORIES DURING YOUR WINTER BREAK
If you have children, create joyful memories with them. You don't have to have a lot of money to create memories, remember that!! You don't always have to be on the go with your kiddos. Save money by making memories at home! Bake cookies, make crafts, watch Christmas movies! Because let's face it, running the roads everyday with cranky kids is not fun; they don't like being trapped in cars! Don't go on a two hour drive to go look at Christmas lights either, visit local neighborhoods that have Christmas light displays. Again, it's the whole traveling with kids thing that makes a joyful memory experience, a not so joyful experience.
This blog post has been sponsored by The Sentimental Petal.