I’m not one that gets depressed about Christmas. What I get is overstressed, which leads to no end of frustration with my limitations. I decorate, I do Christmas cards, I shop and wrap (or bag) gifts, I play Christmas music, and I often host a Christmas party. So I’m not a Scrooge about the season–it just sometimes gets overwhelming.
What often frustrates me the most is that everyone wants a piece of us at Christmas. We have family get-togethers, special programs for activities that the kids are involved in, volunteer activities, and the list goes on and on, it seems like. The Christmas rushing around requires the split-second timing that I’m no longer good at. There seems to be almost no downtime to just relax and enjoy ourselves.
What I’ve learned over the past few years is that sometimes it’s best to not try for the “perfect” Christmas. As long as my kids are happy, then I can be happy. I want them to have good memories of Christmas, not bad ones. The quickest way to a bad memory of Christmas for them is for me to work myself up into a tizzy and wind up in the hospital.
So I’ve developed some Christmas “shortcuts” to limit my stress over the season. I no longer go all out on cooking–I buy precut cookies to bake and take to Christmas parties. I let Bob write the Christmas newsletter we send out every year. I bag as many gifts as I can instead of wrapping all of them. I enlist the kids to help hang ornaments on our three Christmas trees. I limit our commitments as best I can during the holidays. And I try to take time out for myself it just sit down and enjoy what I’ve accomplished so far.