This weekend I was planning what food I was going to prepare for our holiday gathering. I broke out all my recipes, and thought about what kind of requests I had in the past, and what I wanted to make. I always try to incorporate things from my childhood, as I don’t get to spend the holidays with my parents or extended family (we live in a different city). Did I want to have a dinner-dinner, like a ham, or just appetizers? I was going through this whole process with my husband, and he just looked at me and said “do whatever is easiest”.
This was a new concept to me. I watched my mom rush around to the last minute every Christmas Eve making sure all the food was prepared, that the house was ready, and that usually meant she was still doing her hair when company arrived. I vowed not to put myself under that type of stress, so I plan ahead. But now the PLANNING has got me stressed – what will I make? when will I grocery shop? when will I start making things? should I stay with the tried and true or something new? I even considered making cookies for the first time, as my mother-in-law said she is taking a break from doing them this year. I am not a baker, so the thought of doing this was, well, you know, STRESSFUL.
So I stopped myself right there and asked myself what the holidays really meant to me. And I figured out that spending time with people was paramount. It really didn’t matter what the food was, how it was served, or if cookies were present. It was a time to cherish catching up with family and friends. I was feeling better. And I felt even better after I got my grocery shopping done this morning!
Now I still have to get the house ready, and make sure I have all my gift shopping done. But by keeping my goal of connecting with people front and center, all that other stuff can take a back seat.
What about you? Are you feeling the “heat” of getting ready for the holidays? Are you beyond stressed, wishing it was all over? First, I would say ask yourself what truly makes the holidays special. Stay focused on doing what it takes to achieve that specialness. Second, ASK FOR HELP. You don’t have to do it all alone. Lastly, check out this infographic for more tips. Let’s set the goal to have a happy, healthy, minimally stressful holiday season!