Don’t “Survive” the Holidays; 6 Ways to Simplify

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Posted by peskypippi | Posted in Celebrations, Christmas, Facebook, Family, Holidays, Ideas, Memories, Mothering, Recipes | Posted on 16-11-2011

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There are five full weekends between now and Christmas. Ask yourself these three questions:

  1. Do I want to spend those precious weekends stuffed in a stuffy, crowded store shopping (and sometimes shopping for people I don’t much care for)?
  2. Is my “SHOULD do” list bigger than my “WANT to do” list?
  3. Do I want to “survive” the Holidays? Or do I want to enjoy the season? (The season of sharing, joy, wonder, love, and cheer. Too gaggy? Sorry, but it’s one of my favorite times of the year. So SU (shut up).

I say Bah Humbug to those who say, “I’m just trying to survive Christmas.” Whoa. Drama Queen. Seriously? Get a grip. Seriously, there are people out there literally trying to survive. Open your eyes, don’t be so selfish, and tone down the drama.

Don’t be a victim! And don’t try to be an overachiever. This is from one overachiever to another. This is not the time for you to master a “SHOULD do” list.

Here are my six tips for how to simplify the Holiday season:

  • Ditch the Holiday cards this year. Facebook or email a picture of you in your Santa hat; you and your Dog wearing reindeer antlers; you and your family with matching sweaters. Whatever. What are people supposed to do with paper cards anyway? Use them for bookmarks? Hello? Kindle. (Seriously, I gave up sending cards a few years ago. The hassle of gathering your list together, addressing, writing personalized notes, buying the fancy, snowy stamps, locating everyone’s physical address…yikes…too time consuming.) Oh, and please don’t bother writing a family letter detailing your annual highlights and happenings. Again, Facebook.
  • Buy everyone the same thing and call it good. This year, it’s fart whistles for those on my list. If that is too inappropriate, there’s always warm, stripey socks. Or gift cards.

  • Make memories by doing the little things. It’s the little things that make memories (I wrote about that here.) Baking cookies, cutting paper snowflakes, decorating a gingerbread house, watching Christmas movies, going for a brisk walk and admiring all the lights and wacky-but-totally-awesome-kitschy lawn decor. (I heart the inflatables with Santas riding Harleys and giant snow globes.) But don’t force these homespun tasks or feel like you SHOULD do every one. Pick and choose. Who cares?
  • If you do do a cookie exchange, think bar cookie. When you swap five dozens of cookies with other lovely people, don’t make Martha Stewart-like sugar cookies or you’ll labor over those beauties for hours. Here are some recipes: http://www.bhg.com/recipes/desserts/cookies/bar-cookies/ Except, I took a peek and gag me on some of them. But, remember, you are giving these away and getting better ones, so don’t stress on making them perfect. 😉
  • Don’t waste precious weekend time in stuffy, crowded stores. Shop online. Most of the time, it’s free shipping. Even on fart whistles. But, if you must shop, pack the baby in her jammies, pop her into the stroller, and go the mall after 9:00 pm. No crowds.
  • Take a step back and evaluate. Maybe you’ll realize that you’ve got a lot of good going on. And maybe you want to be just a teensy bit more thankful? And maybe you’ll want to add “sharing joy, wonder, love, and cheer to those less fortunate” to your “to do” list this year.
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