Is it Pleasurable and Necessary?
Write a list of all the additional things you do in connection with the festivities. Include chores, shopping trips, social gatherings and more. Put a tick next to the ones you enjoy; they can stay. For those left over go through and ask yourself, ‘Is this really necessary?’ and ‘What would happen if I were not to do this?’ If you don’t enjoy it and it isn’t necessary – don’t do it!
Keep it Real.
You wouldn’t expect it any other time of year, so why is it that we expect to wake one day in December feeling like a member of the Von Trapp family or the Brady Bunch? Festive magic has its limitations and no amount of wishing will make certain family members get along together, or for anyone to become less argumentative. Don’t succumb to Perfect-Family Syndrome; accept your clan as it is, sprouts and all. At the end of the day, if we readjust our expectations, we may be pleasantly surprised.
If you’re one of the few who still send Christmas cards, then that’s great, providing you enjoy doing so. If however, you’re one of those who do, but would prefer not to, how about writing a post on your social media to explain you wish everyone all the very best but that you will be making a donation to a charity in lieu of cards this year? If you’re stuck for where to donate to our chosen charities could be a starting point.
Quality not Quantity.
Accept it, there is such a thing as too much junk. Do you really need to buy that person a gift? If so are you buying them something that they will be delighted to receive, or is it merely an exercise in crossing someone off your ‘to do’ list?
With children in particular it can be easy to go overboard. Over the years I’ve observed what truly makes my kids’ hearts sing. It isn’t mountains of gifts under the tree, it’s a few carefully chosen items, relaxed and loving family time, realistic expectations of the holidays and the reliable family traditions.