As November settles in so does the reality that the holidays are just around the corner. Does that make you feel a little panicky? Maybe a sense of dread? If so, there are two powerful words you can use to save your sanity this season: No. Thanks. Deciding to do less means more sanity for you (and your family). There's a lot of cultural pressure to play the Holiday Craze game. Just remember that you don't have to. As you create more time, space, and money to spend on yourself and your family, you will feel more and more confident in your decision.
Make a list of all that your holidays entail. Circle the things that seriously deplete your reserves and resources (yours and Mother Earth's). Brainstorm ways you could cut back in those areas. Here's some ideas from our home to yours:
Focus on spending time together vs. gift giving.
If you can't stand to be empty handed, bring a favorite recipe or handicraft or something to share. It's a great opportunity to be resourceful and creative.
- Make cookies or a favorite treat to share.
I know this sounds cliche but we get to do something fun while spending time with each other. Then we get to share our creations with loved ones.
- Make homemade Christmas cards or other stuff you'd typically buy.
Another cliche that's worth trying. I collect artwork throughout the year to re-purpose as cards. Younger kids can add stickers and stamps. Older ones can do more intricate drawings or collages.
Skip the wrapping.
If you are doing some gifts, wrapping takes a lot of time and tons of paper. Consider using a reusable bag or container. We save gift bags every year and use them as many times as we can.
Clear your calendar. The Holidays are busy enough. Avoid piling on more events or things to do.The best way to do this is to say thanks for the invite and that you'll keep it in mind. This way you can decide the day of if it's really worth your time. Even if you commit to something you can always change your mind.
Show up. Be with those you love and appreciate and enjoy the time you have together. Don't worry too much about making the perfect meal or giving the perfect gift. Keep things simple, go with the flow, and just let things be.
Cut down on travel if you can. If showing up means hours and hours of travel, consider traveling one year and taking the next off. Or plan to see some relatives or friends at another time of year. Help lessen the crazy holiday travel congestion and save time for yourself.
Now, with all the time and energy you've saved you can do something for yourself. Maybe a little get away? Or a well-deserved massage? Keep your payback in mind as you're "un-planning" your holidays.
I hope you find this helpful! Free feel to comment below with your thoughts and ideas.
Thanks for reading,