It’s that time of year again. Store shelves are full of all things Christmas. Let the stress games begin!
From about mid-November till the end of the year, a sort of madness fills the air in every street and mall. People bustle around trying to find that perfect gift for their spouse, friend, mother, boss. It can be a heady time.
Preparations for Kwanzaa, Hanukkah and Christmas celebrations take up a lot of time and energy. There are complicated meals to plan, parties to decorate for, cards to send out. In the midst of this there are also various invites to get-togethers from friends, family members, and don’t forget those work parties!
This can be a very stressful time of year indeed. So what can you do to keep your cool through this busy holiday season? Be picky. You know what events and groups you really enjoy the most. Choose to only spend time doing the things you actually love.
With so much going on, we tend to forget how to say “No” to things. It’s hard not to feel guilty. I get that. For years I went to every single party and event I was asked to go to. I would spread myself thin and it led to a lot of stress. I didn’t end up enjoying any of it.
So now I choose the things I love the most about this time of year. I decorate sugar cookies with my mom. I go and see the Nutcracker Ballet. I attend one or two parties – tops. Then I have Christmas dinner with my family, and spend Boxing Day with my Grandmother.
Your time is just that; your time. You are the only one who gets to decide how you spend it. Sure there are family obligations, dinner with the in-laws perhaps, but the rest of the time you can choose what you want to do.
Maybe you will want to create some new traditions for yourself and your family. Four years ago when I made Cloverdale my home, I started going to the annual Santa Parade. I go every year now. I grab a hot chocolate, bring some canned food to donate and then I watch the parade with all the trucks and floats lit up with Christmas lights. It is one of my favourite things to do. This year it is on Sunday, Dec. 8 starting at 5 p.m. Perhaps I’ll see you there.
Regardless of how you spend this season, take the time to enjoy it. You are creating memories, so make them ones you will want to remember. Cherish time with family and friends. Speaking of which, if you know anyone who is alone, invite them to your special dinner or event. This time of year can be really difficult for those whose family is far away.
In this season of festivities and frivolity, make sure you create the memories you will love reminiscing about in later years. This season is one of love, peace, joy and above all, family. The family you were born into, and the one that you have chosen in your friends.
May your holiday season be filled with all the things you love the most.
– Dawn Carson is an author and public speaker who lives in Cloverdale. She loves to help others find ways to live happier, more positive lives. Visit her website at www.DawnCarson.com.