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This small change in your Christmas planning will give you a holiday season without the stress and exhaustion. Your family will benefit because a calmer, happier mother means a happier family.
Christmas is coming! Does the thought fill you with excitement? Or with anxiety? Are you full of joyful anticipation? Or wondering how on earth you will get everything done and stick to your budget?
The less attractive side of Christmas
Where I live the Christmas season is ramping up into full gear.
- The mailbox is full of Christmas sales flyers.
- The stores are full of Christmas stuff and we are bombarded with loud obnoxious advertising.
- The worst kind of Christmas music is blaring over the loudspeakers.
- Pinterest is full of images depicting the perfect Christmas
It’s enough to make me want to join the Grinch in his cave at the top of the mountain.
You see I hate that part of Christmas. The consumer driven, frantic, Pinterest perfect frenzy that seems to take over at this time of year.
But there is so much about Christmas that I love
- The sparkling eyes of the preschoolers as they help me decorate the book cart.
- Sharing a good cup of tea and a piece of Christmas cake with my love.
- The quiet moments of candles, twinkling lights, and wonderful music.
- Watching The Christmas Carol and It’s a wonderful Life.
- The hugs of my boys as they arrive for a special meal and family time.
- Skype calls with my parents, brothers and their families on Christmas Day.
Those are the things that make Christmas for me. I want a Christmas that is calm and stress free, time with family and one that is full of joy.
I have the power to create the kind of Christmas I desire
What I have discovered that I actually have the power to create that kind of Christmas for myself. I can make it happen. The first step is to write yourself a permission slip.
The change that makes all the difference
What if we stop trying to create the perfect Christmas?
Instead let’s write ourselves some permission slips as Christmas approaches.
What do you have to give yourself permission to do (or not to do) in order to have the Christmas you desire?
Here are mine. I give myself permission to
- Sit and watch my favorite Christmas movies.
- Skip cleaning the house from top to bottom (for some absurd reason I’ve always felt I had to do this before I could decorate).
- Tell my inner perfectionist to be quiet.
- Skip writing the Christmas newsletter this year.
- Put out a few decorations and leave some in the boxes.
Hey I feel lighter already. And guess what? It will still be Christmas even if I don’t write the Christmas newsletter, clean the house, or put up every decoration we own.
Give yourself the gift of a simpler Christmas
Since it is much easier to give other people these kinds of permission slips I’ve written a few to give you some inspiration. You have permission to
- Do something fun with your kids instead of organizing the church pageant, attending the office party, or (insert a Christmas obligation that brings you no joy).
- Serve shop bought treats instead of baking and decorating Pinterest worthy Christmas sweets.
- Say yes to whatever brings you peace, joy, and calm.
- Say yes to your needs
- Buy fewer gifts.
- Skip writing Christmas cards this year.
- Ask your family to help with (whatever Christmas thing you need to delegate).
Some questions to help
So what do you think? Will you banish those pesky shoulds and oughts? Will you write yourself one of those permission slips? I would encourage you to make a cup of your favourite hot beverage and sit with the following questions.
- What kind of Christmas do I desire?
- What do you have to give yourself permission to do (or not to do) in order to have the Christmas you want?
Then write yourself some permission slips. I would love it if you would share some of your ideas. In the comments below tell me what permission slips you are writing for yourself this year.
Related: What Preschoolers Can Teach You about Christmas.