Wednesday Wisdom: Preparing For the Holidays

November 28, 2007 at 11:47 pm | Posted in dads, Families, Holidays, marriage, moms, Mothers, Self Esteem, siblings, toddlers, Tweens, Wednesday Wisdom | Leave a comment
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Welcome to Wednesday Wisdom! 

Its that time of year when all around you are the warning signs that Christmas is coming.  You go into any store or mall and you are faced upon arrival with a lovely sign and on it are the countdown shopping days till Christmas.  Now if that doesn’t stir up stress and anxiety I simply don’t know what will.  But wait there’s other stuff.  There are your personal memories of your childhood.  There are the traditions you have developed.  There are the presents and things you want to get, but just haven’t found either the time or place.  And somehow you just have this overwhelming feeling of how to make it all happen. 

I am not going to stop all that pressure.  But I am going to give you some ideas of how to handle it so that you can actually enjoy the process of getting ready for the holiday.  And incidentally, if you celebrate Hanukah you are not exempt from any of these pressures any more.  There are three specific strategies that will get through the season with enjoyment rather than stress, fatigue, and anxiety. 

The first and foremost is to understand that Christmas is a season.  It is not really an individual day.  In the past, and in many countries still, Dec. 25 marks the beginning of the holiday and Jan 6 marks the end.  It is officially a 12-day event.  Therefore, you do not need to have everything done in one day.  And you can use days prior to Dec 25 for parts of your celebration.  The important thing to remember is that Christmas is a process of days rather than a single day event.  In my family we have a Christmas Eve celebration, we have Christmas day, and we have a celebration on Jan 6.  This gives me three distinct days to have all the fun and presents. 

  • Ok you say that’s fine, but I still have all the stuff to get ready to do before Christmas.  And those shopping days are just getting fewer and fewer.  The second thing to do is actually make a list of everything you want to buy, do, make, who to send it to, everything that is connected preparing for the holiday.  I think it best to do this on the computer.  After you have written down your list put the things in categories.  I like to put them in order of the three weeks before Christmas.  Then I break it down even further.  And I will put things in days to be accomplished.  This way I see that I have lots to do, but I see that I can manage to get things done.  The important thing to remember when you set up your list is that Christmas is a process. 
  • With this list there is a part B.  This is not the third thing to help to prepare for the holiday.  You use the list as a guideline.  By that I mean it is your helping piece of paper.  It is not your master.  Yes, I want you to print it out.  Make a few copies.  Separate out the weeks and the days.  And as you accomplish each and every task on your list give yourself congratulations.  You deserve to feel good about getting ready about Christmas.
  • This brings me to the third strategy to help you get through the process of preparing for Christmas.  This is about attitude.  I said you would be able to enjoy the holiday season with less stress, fatigue, and anxiety.  I want you to think about someone you really admire; who accomplishes amazing things.  It could be a sports figure, one of your children’s teachers, a clergy person, or a regular friend.  Because I asked you to think of someone who does amazing things, this person will not be someone who sits around most of the time.  This person is extremely busy.  Yet they rarely seem stressed, fatigued, or anxious.  And this is because of their attitude.  They are so full of the enthusiasm for life that they create enough energy to accomplish what they need and want to do.  These people look at life as a gift.  They don’t look at events as burdens and difficult tasks.  Even the most mundane things can be created to be enjoyable and thought of as useful.  If you make up your mind to enjoy the process of the holiday season this year, you can become one of the people that are admired by those around you. 

If you hit a slump, be assured that the person you thought of also hits slumps.  But the difference between amazing people and ordinary people is that amazing people do not let this slump stop them, control them, or overwhelm then.  As they old saying goes, they pick themselves by the bootstraps and get back on the horse. 

This holiday season let yourself love and enjoy each and everything you do, be it big or small.  You may be tired at the end.  But this tired is not fatigue.  It is a great feeling of accomplishment, sharing, and most importantly joy.

Ready for the release of Thoughtful Thursday “Avoiding the Christmas Crush”? 

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