- Relaxed and loving time with the family
- Realistic expectations about gifts
- An evenly paced holiday season
- Strong family traditions
If the extended family is joining you for the holidays, help each of them to feel welcomed and necessary in your home. Ask them to bring one of their most favorite foods or take charge in an area where you know they are gifted. My mother always makes the homemade noodles (one of our traditions) for the Christmas meal when she is with us. I could make them but she was the one who taught me. This honors her as the master teacher and helps out with the division of labor in the kitchen.
Boundary setting and time alone is also important for recharging internal batteries. Do a quick internal review of what you need to feel ready to take on the next day. Make sure you get plenty of rest and eat nutritionally. If exercise is part of your normal routine, now is not the time to skip it. It can be a great stress reducer! Know when you are overwhelmed and ask for help. You don’t have to do everything alone or perfectly. Focus each day on the things for which you are grateful and end the day with time to unwind rather than frantically working on projects right up to the time you go to bed.
Set a budget for spending for gifts and stick to it, no matter how the good the deals seem to be.
Begin this year by making just one or two simple adjustments that will help you feel more in control of the holidays. It may be cutting back on the baking or decorating. It may be spending more time together playing games rather than running to the mall. Whatever you choose, it is with small changes that we turn the our lives around. Begin to embrace a simplicity that can make your life more joyful not just for the holiday season but for the rest of the year.