As the holidays approach, it’s the most wonderful time of the year…or it should be. This season can be difficult for many people. It may be the stress of finances, a loss, or maybe the holidays arriving too soon.
I too am struggling this holiday season due to a personal loss and am trying my best to create my own Christmas magic.
During the holidays, the internet can be a very disheartening place. Instagram has turned into a place of bragging. Staying away from social media during the holidays can help decrease the FOMO related to parties and gifts. Instagram and other social media apps are far less than perfect in real life.
Making a “Family Christmas Bucket List” can help bring some holiday cheer. It’s also important to be realistic. For my son’s second Christmas, I wanted to do ALL of the things. I wanted us to see Santa, bake cookies, watch Christmas movies every weekend, make a gingerbread house, and see Christmas lights. That was not realistic. What was supposed to be five weekends filled with fun activities, turned into meltdowns and arguments.
A few simple suggestions for your family’s holiday activities include:
- Watching a Christmas movie
- Driving around to look at Christmas lights (our family tradition is to get Bruster’s and drive around)
- Making homemade hot cocoa
- Building a gingerbread house or making homemade ornaments
These ideas are affordable for the whole family and I recommend only 3-4 to prevent a family warfare.
If your spirits need to be lifted, try giving back. Adopt a Christmas Angel or participate in Operation Christmas Child. If money is tight, many local charities need volunteers throughout the season. Working at the soup kitchen, delivering meals, or ringing the bell for the Salvation Army are great ways to give back. We have many volunteering opportunities in Knoxville.
It’s also important to take control of your own family holiday. Are your extended family’s dynamics unhealthy? Do you have a toxic family member? Don’t be afraid to say no this Christmas. It’s important to protect your peace. If a toxic family member completely ruins your Christmas cheer, maybe sit out this holiday with them or only stop by for a few quick minutes. The season is about happiness, not stress and worry.
The holidays can bring out the worst in people, but even the Grinch opened his heart. Moms have the greatest responsibilities during the Christmas season, which can be very stressful. Give yourself the gift of time: time to plan, time to enjoy, time to give, and time to rest.