Note to Self: 3 Things to Remember This Holiday Season…Before the Madness Starts

Oh, the holidays. No matter which ones you celebrate, it’s that magical time of the year from November 1 through December 31 when everyone asks you your plans and wants you to have a riveting answer as to what you’ll be doing this year. It’s the time when people are taking picture-perfect images of their homes and wreaths and Christmas trees and slapping them all over social. And it’s that time when, inevitably, you feel like you’re just not doing enough. 

So…ENOUGH already…this holiday season (because it’ll be here any second), let’s determine to be a little kinder to ourselves—as in, let ourselves off the hook before we ever get on the hook. Here’s three ways to do just that.   

1. Avoid Competition—At All Costs

Remember that scene in How the Grinch Stole Christmas with the high-voltage light contest, which is now its very own TV show about how one family can outdo another with their extravagant Christmas lights? That’s the amplified version (no pun intended, well, maybe a little) of the social media one-upping and the unofficial holiday card battle of who has the cutest kids in matching outfits that plagues us for most of November and nearly all of December. So this year, resolve to not give in. Focus on the people you love and the private memories you make—not the ones everyone sees you make. Those are fleeting; the real ones last a lifetime.

2. Learn When to Say Yes and When to Say No

The holidays are an inherently busy time of year with parties, school wrapping up, concerts and plays, shopping and wrapping, decadent meal planning…the whole nine yards. Let your body guide you on what you can and can’t do. If you have the energy and the desire, by all means, go for it. But if you find you’re saying yes to too many things in a week (or a day), slow down. There’s no shame in only being able to do so much, and you’ll enjoy what you DO do so much more.

 3. Remember What Who the Holidays Are About

You may feel pulled in a thousand different directions—the kitchen, the mall, work, the secret room in your house where you do the gift wrapping—but don’t be pulled so far away that you miss being with the ones you love. The things you do WITH your family and dearest friends are the things you’ll remember. And they’re the things that your kids will remember when they have families of their own. So lug the kiddos to the mall with you (when you can); bake cookies with them, not just for them; snuggle up and read a Christmas book or watch a holiday movie together and leave your phone on the charger. Take time to be present this holiday season. It’s truly the greatest gift you can give—not just to those around you, but equally as importantly, to yourself.

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