The holidays are freakin' NUTS, man.
I have a love/hate/love relationship with this time of year. Thanksgiving used to be my favorite holiday until I had to start splitting time between my parents and my in-laws and then it just started stressing me out. And then Christmas hits and you've got school parties, church parties, friend parties, gym parties, neighbor gifts, friend gifts, teacher gifts, postman gifts, and then you know - shopping for all your many children and family members and all of the other Christmas related things there are to do - besides going completely broke.
It's just friggin' busy and really, being that busy feels like the symptom of a greater problem where we all think all the stuff we do is stuff we HAVE to do.
Spoiler alert, it's not.
I've run myself ragged and downright resentful the last few years, to the point where I tore down Christmas the day after and couldn't look at anything Christmas related for months. Holiday PTSD, it's a thing, especially for people like me who tend to spread themselves to thin and power through anyway with the help of too little sleep and too much Red Bull.
Recommended for You
TIME TO TAKE THE HOLIDAYS BACK.
Step 1. - You have to make an actual list of priorities.
Go through all your invites, your family and school schedule and mark what's vital and can't miss, mark off what's a maybe, and cross off everything else. Don't be afraid to be cold about it either. Your Aunt Linda will get over the fact that you couldn't make her annual eggnog bash. Feel free to turn down all of the ugly sweater party invites too while you're at it because as far as I'm concerned, if you've been to one, you've been to enough. Also, in my opinion work parties are not a must attend event either, unless bonuses are being passed out, in which case you better get your butt there and schmooze until you drop.
Step 2 - Stop thinking that everything you do has to become a tradition full of magic and memories.
You don't always have to drive around and see Christmas lights, you don't always have to make that special wassail that requires 27 random ingredients from 16 different stores, your kids likely won't remember if you don't manage to hunt down matching Christmas pj's for them to wear this year, and anything else that requires excessive effort and extreme holiday cheer.
Step 3 - Don't do something you know you'll regret (i.e. avoid the very appearance of evil).
Your kids won't remember if you don't hit every holiday tradition but they WILL remember if you come completely unhinged at the other drivers in the Target parking lot while jockeying for a spot, spewing profanities and gesturing loudly with your swear fingers while trying to hunt down the last few rolls of wrapping paper and a coffee mug for your dad. Pretty much just avoid Target and any other big box store at this point in the game, you hear me?
Other posts you might enjoy...