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Saturday, November 1, 2014

Take control of the holidays!

The scariest part of Halloween is that it signals the beginning of the holiday season.  Sure enough, today while shopping, I heard Christmas songs playing in the stores and was bombarded by endless holiday "sales".  It's enough to make me want to run home and put my pillow over my head!  :)  I'm not ready for winter!  I'm not ready for parties and decorating and buying presents. 

But, it does me no good to fight the less than two months it will be the beginning of a new year.  Christmas IS coming.  Thanksgiving IS coming.  I might as well enjoy it.

Instead of dreading the stress of the holidays, let's try something different this year.  Let's take control of our time and plan things around what WE like!  Gather your family around you sometime this week with a calendar and a good attitude.  Discuss what activities, programs, parties and other obligations you ALL want to participate in.  Mark these on your calendar in pen.  Now, in pencil, write down activities that are specific to certain family members (like school holiday activities and office parties) and which are open to negotiation.  Throw in some special traditions (like looking at Christmas light displays and/or caroling).  Now, very important...schedule in some days that are quiet home days!  Consider those as non-negotiable prior commitments!  Those are the days you can watch favorite holiday movies, make cookies, drink hot chocolate and relax. 

Much of the stress of the holidays is self inflicted.  We choose to say "yes" to too many things.  We forget what the holiday season is most and love and gratitude.  We can take control of our time to make time for those closest to us.  So, dig out those Christmas CD's (my favorite is Handel's Messiah!) and start playing them softly in your home.  Light some sweet smelling candles in the evening (maybe cinnamon?). Decorate when YOU want to, regardless of when everyone else is doing it!  Embrace the things that make you happy.

This season, give your family the gift that money can't buy...a happy, calm, relaxed mother and precious holiday memories.  They will love you for it!


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