I’m hearing a lot of stress-related comments from my clients right now.
- “I need six more gifts and have no idea when I can shop.”
- “I don’t have my caramels made yet.”
- “I still don’t have my cards in the mail.”
- “I have three more parties to go to and I don’t want to go to any of them.”
- “I still don’t know how many people are coming to Christmas dinner.”
- “I really wanted to have a party for my neighbors and now it’s too late.”
I certainly understand where the stress is coming from but is the incredible amount of stress worth the end-result? Probably not. Is all this stress taking away from the magic of the season? Probably so. What adjustments can you make to restore the magic of the season?
Gifts: Gift cards are okay and you can select from a large assortment at many local retailers. Create a gift book of services like babysitting, preparing dinner, cleaning the house, etc.
Food: Although home-made gifts are THE BEST it’s perfectly acceptable to skip a year or purchase treats from a local bakery or candy shop.
Cards: Give yourself some grace. Either skip this year or send New Year’s cards. The world will not stop spinning if you don’t send Christmas cards.
Parties: Are there any parties you can gracefully bow out of at this point? If so, do it. If not, put a limit on the amount of time spent at the event. Just because the invitation says “6:00 – 10:00” doesn’t mean you need to spend four hours there.
Meals: If planning and preparing a big holiday meal is stressing you out, is there an option to switch it up a bit? Make the meal a potluck so everyone gets to participate. Instead of a coordinated meal, how about an “all appetizer” party (people love appetizers!)? Think outside of the box and reduce some stress.
Friends and neighbor parties: Yes, you had every intention of inviting friends and neighbors over for the holidays, but do you really want to add another event to your, or their, calendar? Probably not. How about having a 2018 launch party? Or how about a Valentine’s Day dine-around? Having something to look forward to after the big holiday rush would be lovely. Plus, everyone will be much less stressed, more relaxed and able to truly enjoy your time together.
How can you adjust your expectations, reduce stress and focus on the magic of the season?
National Association of Professional Organizers, Seattle Chapter Vice President
Level I Certificates earned in Chronic Disorganization; ADD; Client Administration; Time Management; Mental Health; and Hoarding.
Level II Specialist Certificates earned in Chronic Disorganization and ADHD.