Friday, December 9, 2011

Hurry Less, Worry Less at Christmastime

English: large wooden Santa Claus and "no...Image via WikipediaAre you one of those people who sometimes dread the whole holiday season?  I know there have been times in my life when I just wanted them to be over.  You get overwhelmed by the constant barrage of holiday events and activities.

Is it any wonder that we can get stressed out by the holidays.  It all starts with Thanksgiving, moves quickly to Christmas and ends with the New Year.  They really are three distinct holidays with their own special meaning and significance, but they all seem to run together these days.

I remember when there was a bit of a break between the different holidays.  Christmas decorations wouldn't go up until after Thanksgiving.  Now, the stores start putting up Christmas decorations in early November.  I even was at one mall that had Santa Claus out two weeks before Thanksgiving.

Personally, I want to relax and enjoy each of the holidays for what they represent.  I don't want to get caught up in all of the hustle and bustle.  Usually it is a case of easier said than done.  Fortunately, I found a pretty good little book called Hurry Less, Worry Less at Christmastime by Judy Pace Christie.

The book is filled with nice little tips and techniques to simplify the holiday season.  There are great suggestions on how to cut back in some areas without feeling guilty about it.  At the same time, she teaches you how take time to focus on what is truly important and how to integrate new traditions with your old traditions.

It all starts with imagining and writing down the type of holiday you want.  She encourages you to realize you can't change everything at once, but to focus on that which is most important to you and try to change a little bit at a time.  Then each year becomes a little bit easier to move towards your goal of a relaxing holiday season.

Unbeknownst to me, I had already started to incorporate a few of her ideas into my own holiday activities, but I never formally thought about them.  I learned to cut back on the number of gifts I bought for people outside of my wife and son and not feel guilty about it.  I have started my own traditions with my wife and son.  I try not to feel guilty if I can't or choose not to attend every holiday invitation.

My holidays aren't always stress free and without drama.  There are times when I still spend too much or get too involved in activities.  But I am working on it.  Here is hoping that you can have a less worrisome and less hurried holiday season this year and for years to come.
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