It’s go time. Christmas is upon us. This week brings the chaos (and fun) of extended family, meal preparations, gift wrapping and more. Here are some tips to stay sane and enjoy the week.
1. Let go of the idea of perfection. Seriously. You do not need to buff every scuff out of your wood floor, have the perfect appetizer spread, create the ideal holiday music play list and make yourself and your children look like you stepped out of the pages of a magazine. Let go of the image of holiday perfection you see in movies and magazines and just be yourself. Your family wants YOU, not some airbrushed, Martha Stewart version of yourself and your home. Prepare yourself in advance that there will be chaos. There will be catastrophes. And nobody will care. It will be fun. It will be good.
2. Gift bags. I know, wrapped presents look so pretty and are, admittedly, more fun to open. But what people really care about is what’s inside the gift (and inside your heart when you gave it.) So save a LOT of time and energy and go to the dollar store, stock up on gift bags and tissue and get those suckers “wrapped.”
3. Gift cards. Again, wouldn’t it be perfect if you could find every single person on your list the present that their hearts desire most? Well, the reality is that it would break your bank and your sanity to try, so dole out those gift cards like they are going out of style. Saves time, saves money, and saves the recipient the hassle of returns. And they get to pick out exactly what they want! Win, win, win.
4. Movies. Nobody wants to be that parent who just parks their kids in front of a movie while they get stuff done. But this week, give yourself permission to be that parent, at least for a little while so you can do some of your preparations in peace. In fact, get over the notion of being the perfect parent this week (and beyond, frankly). If your kids are old enough, give them jobs–real jobs–that actually help you get ready.
5. You time. I know that sounds like a totally foreign concept this time of year, but you really need it. Even if it’s just a 15 minute rest on your bed with coffee while you mindlessly surf around on Facebook. Take a walk. Stick to your exercise routine, even if the kids are out of school. Do a “kid swap” with a friend so you can each have time to get in your workouts. You will feel so much better if you can keep a semblance of your own routine this week. (And you won’t feel so bad about the mother load of calories you will be ingesting. 🙂
6. Keep your boundaries. This is a major toughie around extended family. Don’t let yourself get pulled into conversations that will frustrate you. Politely smile, say you need to check on something, and walk away. Don’t let yourself feel pressured to give in on things that are important to you, especially involving your kids. You are in charge of yourself and your immediate family. Do what you need to do to protect yourself and your kids from unwanted advice and interference.
7. Make the day after Christmas a day for just your immediate family. If you have family in town or are staying with relatives, this is obviously tougher, but even if you just carve out a few hours to take your immediate family to the movies, do it. You need the downtime to reconnect with your own family.
8. Don’t stress about the extra pounds. You will gain a couple of pounds this week. Everybody does it. Every year. It’s okay. January is the time to buckle back down and get your healthy eating back in gear. Have the pie. Have the fudge. It’s Christmas. It’s okay. Wear loose pants and it’ll all be fine once you get back to your normal routine. 🙂
9. Have a date. After the kids are in bed, find some solitude with your spouse or significant other. Pour a glass of wine, wrap up in a blanket by the fire and just be together. The dirty dishes can wait. Put on your favorite Christmas movie and snuggle in tight.
10. Breathe. Be prepared to look for the good, and just remember that you’ve totally got this. Take a deep breath, fasten your chin strap and enjoy the crazy. In a short week’s time, you will be on the other side of Christmas. Don’t forget to stop and enjoy it while it’s happening. 🙂
Source: JP YouPlusDallas Blog