5 Things It's Ok NOT To Do This Christmas
From the outside, I can look like the Grinch at Christmas. I don’t buy Christmas presents, don’t send cards and….I don’t even put up a Christmas tree. I also don’t stress-out, feel frazzled, over-spend or in general, rush about like a crazy person at Christmas time.
I enjoy Christmas – but in my own way. We often go out to dinner or to a hotel overnight on Christmas day and I enjoy all the beautiful decorations, lights and food on the day. And I generally book a family vacation in January which I enjoy far more than any store -bought presents.*
So if this year the shopping, the crowds, the cooking and the mess is getting too much for you. I encourage you to try something different. Pick something that you’re NOT going to do this year.
Here are my top 5 suggestions NOT to do this year at Christmas:
1. Don’t overbook yourself – having enough personal time is essential at anytime of the year, but most especially at Christmas. Try saying ‘No’ at least once and maybe more to ensure you have the time and energy to put into what you most enjoy. Need some help saying 'no'? You can find some tips on how to do it kindly and gracefully here.
2. Don’t obsess about doing it all – the world won’t come to an end if you don’t bake homemade Christmas cookies for the class, the presents aren't wrapped perfectly or the house is a bit messy for guests. Being a perfectionist and trying to do it all is a sure way to burnout over Christmas. Let yourself off the hook. Let yourself be human. Your friends and family love you for who you are – not how perfect your Christmas tree looks!
3. Don’t feel like you MUST honour all your traditions – sometimes abandoning an old tradition can feel quite freeing – as old traditions while comforting can also leave you feeling stuck in a rut. Do you always cook? Maybe try getting in a caterer or ask everyone to pitch in and bring a dish. Experiment and surprise with a different cultures’ customs or create a new tradition.
4. Don’t judge and criticise yourself – the holidays are a time of celebration and indulgence and yes, sometimes we overdo it. But as human beings, we are used to rhythms of feast and famine and beating yourself up over enjoying some of your favourite treats isn’t a good use of your time. Let yourself relax and enjoy this time and know that there will be plenty of time to re-balance and be moderate after the holidays.
5. Don’t do it all yourself – many of us are the planners and doers of the family, so it’s natural for much of the preparation falls on us. This year ask for help. Talk to your spouse and your kids. Hire a cleaner, dog walker or a gift wrapper. Share the work as much as you share the fun.
The important thing is for you to stay healthy and energised – not only for you, but for your family and friends who love you. They want to be spending the holidays with you at your best – NOT you burnt-out, frazzled, sick and grumpy.
Take responsibility this year for what makes you happy and what wears you out. And make sure this is a Christmas that makes you happy.
*Quick note - my ‘Love Language’ – is quality-time spent together. So this works for me completely. However if your spouse or family are ‘gift-givers’ – don’t expect them to love this plan! Don’t know your love language or that of your family? Check it all out here!)