How to Get a Little More Enjoyment Out of Your Holiday Season
Parties, dinners, gifts, family, the holidays can be a pretty fun time. It can also be pretty stressful. Many of us have a little Clarke Griswold in us, always trying to make the holidays absolutely perfect for the people around us.
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Gift’s Without the Side of Guilt
As parents, we have a bad tendency to want to fill the bottom of the Christmas up with so many gifts you can’t see the tree anymore. Even though we don’t want to spoil our kids. Even if we are trying to teach them good lessons. Somewhere in the back of our brains, there is this niggling little worm telling us we are not doing enough. Not getting enough.
Put that worm on a hook and go fishing. You are doing enough.
My friend Patty has come up with a pretty awesome idea for guiltless Christmas shopping. This year we are taking a cue from her and trying out her simple plan. I might add a small amount to giveaway for each child because I love teaching the spirit of giving, otherwise, we are sticking with Patty’s simple plan.
Not Perfect is Amazing
The imperfections of our life make it special and unique. Think of old Clarke Griswold, it wasn’t the things he did great that made the movie heartwarming and hilarious. It was the things that went wrong. I am sure there are a few past holidays you still laugh at because of some weird faux pas on someone’s part.
Like the time my 90-year-old Grandmother asked my cousin if his new tongue ring was for sexual pleasure or the time my Dad played a prank on one of our family friends that had him going until after Christmas.
If everything went perfect, you wouldn’t have any stories to tell your Grandchildren! When it all goes wrong, smile, because you are going to have a great story in the years to come.
Create a New Tradition
It’s never too late to start a new tradition. If the tradition for you has been to go to a different holiday party every weekend, your new tradition might be pj’s and Christmas movies the Saturday before Christmas. If you are missing all old friends and the parties you used to have, your new tradition might be to host a holiday party for your neighborhood.
When you start feeling like something is missing from your holiday. A new tradition might be in order. New friends, new places, new fun.
Just remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect. Chinese turkey anyone?
I wrote a whole post about staying organized this season, complete with printables. Here is the short version. Plan ahead, meals, travel, gifts. You don’t want to be the one at the local department store on Christmas Eve or the one praying the 7-11 has cranberry sauce.
Say NO to Toxic
I know there are some of you out there reading this thinking “yea well you don’t know my family!” You are right, I don’t, but I have heard stories. If your family get togthers include drinking and cussing each other out, don’t go. If your Mom lays on the passive-aggressive guilt trips or plays siblings against each other, don’t go.
But they are family…
But they are toxic, and no one has a right to treat you like that. Spend your time with people you enjoy being with or do something positive for someone else. Volunteer at a homeless shelter, make cookies for the local children’s home, bring cocoa to police and first responders who have to work on Christmas. Anything positive to keep the toxic at bay.
Take Time for You
Self-care is important all of the time. It is especially important during the holiday crazy. Put some brakes on the crazy train by taking a few minutes for yourself. It is fine to say, hey I need thirty minutes to breathe. Your family won’t die if you hide for a few minutes. (I make no promises about the state of your house when you return.)
Seriously though. Take some time to meditate, read, nap, whatever works for you.
Remember the Holiday Spirit
The holidays are all about sharing and giving. Even if you can’t give a lot of money, you can give time, and you can give kindness. Carrying someone’s groceries out to their car, bringing a meal to someone who doesn’t get out much, or just smiling at someone who seems to be having a bad day can all spread a little holiday cheer.
To spread the cheer this year, here is a list of charities I work with and support. Please consider supporting one of these charities this holiday season.
- Called to Peace Ministry – Called to Peace’s goal is to support women facing the crisis of domestic violence and train church leaders how to recognize and counsel victims of domestic violence.
- Kiva – Kiva is actually more of a private lending service. You give loans, people pay you back, you reloan, etc. This one is really fun and my goal is to loan money to every country available.
- Feeding America – Feeding America is a nationwide charity that funds local food bank. You can search to find one local to you or just donate to the national organization.
- Love Does – Love Does helps children in third world countries get an education and it gives them a whole lotta love. This charity was started by Bob Goff, the author of Love Does. (One of my all-time favorite inspirational books)
If you read “Not Perfect is Amazing” and thought of a particularly amusing story from your holiday past, I invite you to leave your story in the comments. Entertain us, make us laugh, and notice that all of our favorite holiday stories, are amazingly imperfect.