You’re looking at your December calendar when all of a sudden you start to sweat. You begin to get light headed, overwhelmed by the sudden onslaught of holiday parties and family gatherings. Suddenly, your holiday cheer turns into holiday fear. You can’t go to Aunt Linda’s party! Last year she spilled the beans about your cousin’s run in with her far more successful and stunning ex-boyfriend’s fiancee. You can’t witness that kind of mortification again. What do you say at the company work party? You are so bad at small talk. You would rather be at home with your husband and cat! Perhaps you just can’t shake the worry that your children will be relegated to Santa’s naughty list as soon as the fancy holiday outfits and sweet treats make an appearance…Whatever your fears may be, here are a few survival tips to keep in mind when it comes to holiday parties and family time.
Right out of the gate, it’s important to remember that you’re only human and can only do so much before you’re worn out, kranky and no fun for anyone to be around! When you’re gearing up for the busy weeks ahead, remind yourself that it isn’t a race and prioritize what needs to be accomplished. Be it shopping, cooking or being the hostess with the mostess, make a list, check it twice, and just do the best that you can. That’s all you can do!
It’s Ok to Say No!
After you’ve gone over that list again and again, you may notice that some items just cannot seem to be squeezed into your hours in the day or days in the weeks ahead. How is that possible? You’ve prioritized, organized and planned. But somehow, the idea of that one extra party just pushes you over the edge. You begin to panic…but wait! That just isn’t necessary. There is a magical word that too many people forget to use over the holidays. That word is NO. It’s a good word. It’s a lifesaver, in fact, during this most wonderful time of the year! So don’t be afraid to use it. When that time rolls around and you can actually take a breath and feel more like yourself again, you’ll be grateful that you did! I promise.
We love our families. We really do. But sometimes those get togethers, once the wine is flowing and tongues start to flap, can be too much. Just remember that no one in your family – not even you – is perfect. Take a breath, let Aunt Linda blather on and give your cousin lots of TLC and an extra cup of eggnog, made with love. Family is family. Enjoy your holidays and look back with funny stories from those oh, so memorable egg noggy moments…
In these weeks of binge eating (and drinking, come on, be honest) and lack of sleep, it is easy to lose track of that svelte physique and those bright eyes. So try and remember to eat healthily and snack lightly during the day, leading up to the big events. Squeeze in some exercise in the morning, easier to do if you’ve not had that extra couple glasses the night before. If you can remember to keep these things in mind, you may just escape the holidays unscathed!
Keep Your Finances in Check
If you’re anything like me, you wish that you could afford to spend a ridiculous amount of money on your spouse, nieces, nephews, friends and family. But the reality of it is that you have to budget. Plan ahead and start to save if you can. If you cannot, don’t be afraid to make an agreement with your honey to only spend so much, or with your siblings to only buy gifts for the kiddos this year. Most of the time, they are thinking the same thing but are too afraid to ask! Make it easier on yourselves and treat the kids while making the holiday enjoyable and as stress free as possible for the young at heart!
Savour the Moment
In the chaotic whirlwind of the holidays, we can sometimes focus more on getting things checked off the list instead of taking stock of those special moments that can come and go in a flash. When your little one is snuggled up in his Christmas sweater on Grandma’s lap, sleepy from all of the excitement of the day, don’t forget to pause and cherish that moment. When your honey is bustling around the kitchen to prepare for the family feast, sneak in that special kiss. Tell your family how much you love them. This is the time of year, despite the craziness of it all, to really reconnect and share the love with family and friends. We’ve gotten through another year. We’ve learned, laughed, grown and thrived. Take the time now, to really be grateful for what is right in front of you, because in the blink of an eye, that moment is passed…
Much Love this Holiday Season…