and trade seasonal stress for more joy?
By doing less, not more. By involving the whole family in decisions about what to do for Christmas. By deciding which traditions and preparations are a priority, and which are just continued because you’ve always done them.
This is from a class I taught at church a few years ago, and I’ve been going over the list again. My kids are old enough to help out with Holiday preparations and ideas, and we also held a family meeting with the grandparents, parents and my brothers and sisters to decide what we can do to streamline and simplify our Christmas. There were things that some of us did not want to copromise on or quit doing (Tara), but also things that we decided we did not need to do. We put it all to a vote, and voila; we have aplan. Here are some things to be thinking about right now.
1. Make a list of preparations for the holidays. They can include things such as:
Shopping for gifts
Writing cards or newsletter and addressing
Helping at church
Getting the tree
Helping with school activities
Planning family gatherings
Making Christmas dinner
Making travel arrangements
Preparing for house guests
Volunteering your time
2. Spend some time remembering how you felt last Christmas as you were doing each of the tasks you listed. Put a star by the ones you actually enjoyed. Beside each one not starred, write down a few words that describe the reason for your dissatisfaction, such as:
Not enough time/money/family support
Didn’t enjoy this type of activity
Didn’t value this type of activity
My performance didn’t measure up to my expectations
3. Cross off responsibilities to do without, or check the ones to delegate.
This is a springboard for your holiday planning. Get your family involved! Have a family meeting. Don’t just delegate to them, spend time together as a family doing them.