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Monday, December 3, 2012

Holiday Stress - Part 6 - Too much to do!

Everybody loves Christmastime.  There are parties to attend, lights to see, decorations to put up, cookies to bake, gifts to make, presents to wrap, family and friends to visit, activities to participate in, plays, movies  and musical productions to watch, caroling in the neighborhood, and of course, snuggling around a warm fire, sipping hot chocolate, watching the lights of the Christmas tree and listening to beautiful Christmas music.  Sounds idyllic, doesn't it?

So, how are you going to accomplish all this?   If you're like most moms, you're not unless you are planning on stressing yourself out and everyone around you.  But that's ok.  You don't have to do everything.  Just because there's a smorgasbord of delightful activities to choose from, doesn't mean you have to participate in them all.

Here's an idea.  Tonight for Family Night, gather everyone together and ask them what is their favorite part of the holiday season.  Write down their answers and then have everyone rank them in order of importance.  Depending on other obligations, choose the top 4 or 5 (or whatever number) and focus on them.  You might be surprised.  You might think that the homemade knitted sweaters that you've been making everyone for the last ten years are the highlight of the family's Christmas and then find out that they didn't even make the top ten list.  So, why do it?  Use your time, energy and money for things that make everyone happy and (hopefully) reduce some of the stress you put yourself through.  You might even find that the favorites change from year to year.  That's normal.  Kids grow up every year.

If you put your focus on a few well planned activities and experiences, you might find yourself actually enjoying the holiday.    Now go relax with that cup of hot chocolate...  :)


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