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Are you getting holiday anxiety?

Wrapping Paper Supplies

It’s time, once again, to get out those holiday wrapping paper supplies!

Yesterday I discovered that next week is Thanksgiving.  Whaaat?  How did that happen?!

Then, of course, next up is Christmas.  I remember a time in my very distant past when I actually thought of Christmas and Thanksgiving as being two separate entities.  I would celebrate Thanksgiving, there’d be a break of a few weeks, then I’d start to think about Christmas.

That must have been BC (Before Kids) or even BH (Before Husband)!

But I am determined not to let my holiday anxieties take over.  There are so many things to love about the holidays.  It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year…So here are some steps I’ve decided to take to ensure that I don’t get caught up in all its snares.

1. Make a list

A friend of mine actually has an Excel spreadsheet of all her holiday activities, purchases, and budget.  This is a wonderful idea but probably not a realistic goal for me.

My hope is to create a list of EVERYTHING I propose to achieve during the holidays and then start chipping away at it.  Perhaps as I create this list I’ll see things that can be trimmed, cut out, or even delegated to other family members.  How fantastic would that be!

2. Break it down

I’m guessing that this list will seem a tad overwhelming.  How should I tackle it?  One baby step at a time.

gingerbread menI’ve already begun this with cookies.  My “thing” each year is to bake an assortment of cookies for friends and family.  It’s become such a tradition that I inevitably get asked, “When are the cookies coming?!”

I usually get in a baking frenzy sometime in December and by the end, I’m spent! So this year I decided to concentrate on one type of cookie each week- baking several batches and freezing them.

I just began last week.  So far so good!  Now to tackle the rest of my list the same way!

3. Schedule fun

Every year there is a plethora of concerts, holiday events, light shows, etc., etc.  Some we do but many just pass us by as we become busy with our daily schedules.  This year I want to choose a few of them and write them on our calendar.  Make a date out of it or a family outing.

Beyond that, there’s a few holiday service projects in my church and community that we can get involved in to teach my children the joy of giving.

I’m also determined to squeeze out the most of the holidays at home.  I’ve already got my hot cocoa and mulled wine spices on hand and have printed off the Holiday TV Guide so that we can watch How The Grinch Stole Christmas to our heart’s content!

Family at the nutcracker ballet

One of our favorite holiday traditions is to attend The Nutcracker Ballet

4. Keep it simple

That being said, I feel like it’ll be important to leave empty spaces.  I want to avoid feeling rushed or frenzied by keeping it simple and leaving room to enjoy the real meaning of christmas.

Peace. Joy. Hope. Love. Goodwill towards all.

For that to happen it’s important to pay attention to the pulse of my family and I.  What are their needs? What are mine?  What can we add or cut out?  What do we really need?

My husband just read the title of this piece and summed it up in a few words.  Here’s real holiday anxiety.  Not being able to give presents to your kids.  Worrying about losing your house or your job.  Losing a loved one and wondering how you can get through the holidays without them.  So what’s all the fuss about?  Everyone else’s holiday anxiety is just self-imposed.

He has a way of cutting through to the heart of it all!

What are some ways that you are avoiding the frenzy of the holidays this year?  What one thing can you share to help all of us bring back the true meaning of christmas?

Have a wonderful week!

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