How to Keep the “Happy” in Happy Holidays
The holidays are just around the corner. With gift buying and gift giving, traveling and cooking, it can be easy to let this special time of the year get out of hand. Before you know it, instead of saying “Happy Holidays”, you could be saying “Hurry Up Holidays”. The key to having a peaceful holiday season is knowing how to navigate through the snow and the snowstorms without becoming overwhelmed or overworked. So, here are some tips to help you keep the “happy” in happy holidays:
1. Create a plan. Many of us have plans for work, for school, and for household chores, but we don’t always have a plan for the holidays. Navigate through the holidays on paper and in your head first before you launch out. Schedule events, times for decorating, cooking, eating, and cleaning. You can even schedule a time for opening gifts, and make a note of the number of people who are coming to the Christmas party and when they will arrive. Armed with a plan, you will be better able to handle unexpected events and unexpected people. Your season will come together more nicely, and it will be easier to say no when the schedule does not permit for extras.
2. Understand your limits. Know ahead of time what events you’re going to attend and which ones you’re not. If you get tired or restless easy, plan fewer events so you won’t become anxious. And don’t feel bad about the events you can’t attend. Give yourself space between each event, time to rest, and realign your thoughts so you can be your best self. Of course, we all want to please everyone, but as Karl Lagerfeld said, “Don’t sacrifice yourself too much, because if you sacrifice too much there’s nothing else you can give and nobody will care for you.”
3. Embrace the moment. The rush of the holiday season can cause us to wish for the new year to hurry up and make an entrance so we can get back to routine. But the holidays only come around once a year; once a year you get to do all this exceptionally wonderful stuff that, hopefully, brings everyone together and offers a bit of joy and peace along the way. So embrace the moment, stay in the moment. Let the excitement rush through your body and jingle bells fill your brain. After all, this moment is the only moment we have right now so enjoy it.
4. Pull a Cinderella. Yes, that’s right. Leave the party or the festivities early, before the clock strikes midnight, so you can keep to your normal bedtime. Regular sleep is important for your overall health and wellbeing. Numerous studies show that sleep loss can result in irritability, moodiness, impatience, and leave you too tired to keep the party going the next day. So eat early, drink early, chat with your family and friends early, so you can leave the party early and get your much-needed sleep.
5. Don’t drop devotions. The rush and madness of the holidays can sometimes cause us to begin our days without God. But having a daily time with God is very important, not just for when you need something, but for having an enjoyable time with family and friends. Whatever time you normally pray and spend alone with God, keep to that time. God is always available to meet with us, listen to us, answer us and bless our plans.
6. Stick to your routine. Don’t ditch your normal, daily routine when the holidays come around. Amid all the chaos and excitement, do your best to keep your days on track. Stay in control of your time. Learn to say no when you have to and be sure to ask for help when you need it. The holidays are a time for fun, but don’t allow things to get out of hand by throwing your routine out the window.
7. Enjoy. Enjoy the season, the spirit, the rush, the madness, the family, the friends, and the gifts. Most gifts in life come unwrapped, and all of these things are gifts that often only come during this time. Stop a minute and think about all the things you have to be grateful for and all the things you have to enjoy. Forget about what you don’t have or what you think you’re missing for a minute and thank God for all the blessings bestowed upon you. Be grateful for family and friends, no matter what their habits or personality types are. Create happy memories that will last. The gifts of gratitude and enjoyment are priceless, and they keep giving for a long time.
The holidays are called happy for a reason. With a little planning, understanding, embracing and enjoying, we can all make sure they stay that way.