Do you get excited for the holidays? Or do you feel a dull ache in the pit of your stomach?
Alas, I used to have a love-hate relationship with the holidays.
I love the family traditions and seeing my kids so excited.
And I hate all the extra work. Seriously, don't moms have enough to do?
What we want most for Christmas is to enjoy our families. That's hard to do when you're drowning in your to-do list.
But it doesn't have to be that way. In fact, I've been working hard the last few years to change it in my own home.
So, try one of these ideas now to holiday proof your mental health. Your family will love how present you are!
It's Ok to Drop The Ball
Last year, I...
- skipped the holiday cards
- opted out of a gift exchange
- had my husband buy all of the gifts for his family (I probably should have done this earlier)
- didn't sign up to bring goodies for Christmas parties (opted for other parties instead)
There's more, but you get the idea.
It's not that I didn't want to do them, or that I'll never do them again. But I can't do it all. No one can.
You have to set your own boundaries. No one else will set them for you.
(You can go completely against the grain and try a 30 day glow up challenge for your health too)
Do A Few Things Before The Rush
Now, I plan gifts and food early so that I can start buying before the holiday rush. (Little things while I'm already out)
I also work more in November so that December is slower. It makes a big impact on our family traditions if I'm not also worried about a thousand work to-dos.
Use Systems & Rituals
Finally, it sounds odd, but this cuts down on decision fatigue.
As one example, I give some of the same things every year. I've given them so many times that they're easy and meaningful for me to do. 🎁
- A Date Night Gift For My Husband
- Christmas Eve Box For the Kids
- Experience Gift For the Kids
- An Ornament Exchange with Friends
Systems can also work with holiday food, whose house to have family gatherings at, and just about anything.
That's it! I hope this helps you as you begin to think about your holidays.
P.S. Give yourself permission to share what you're grateful for and sing carols with your crazy in-law instead of slaving away. You deserve a stress-free holiday too.