I don’t know about you but something about this time of year inevitably brings extra stress. I can remember Christmases past, where I put so many unrealistic expectations on myself and those around me. Whether it be homemade Christmas gifts for extended family that required $3,792 dollars worth of supplies or a 5 course menu, 1/2 of which remained un eaten because I cooked for 32 people instead of two.
I’ll never forget the year that I stood in the kitchen on the verge of a nervous breakdown because I had ruined my Grandma Evelyn’s home made cranberry sauce recipe. My husband made it worse (better) by telling me he didn’t really like it anyway, that he liked it from the can way better. I almost lost my mind. That night I laid in bed feeling so remorseful for my inability to handle stress. Finally, I had an epiphany. I just needed to eliminate the stress all together. Since then, Christmas has been a whole lot simpler at our house. As a matter of fact the fanciest, most elaborate thing I’ve done all season was make this cake (from a box) and sprinkles that I’m sure are almost 3 years old. (Shhhh. Our secret)
If you are a Christmas stress-ball and your family is plotting to slip a sedative into your glass too, here is a list of ideas you might consider to eliminate the stress.
1. Make a list of who you are buying for this season, no one else gets added later. (Not even your 3rd cousin who buys your child a huge, noisy, unexpected gift)
2. Ask your family for input on the menu. Don’t stress yourself about making things they might not even enjoy. Decide what’s realistic and enlist their help in the kitchen. (Unless that stresses you out more)
3. Crank up the holiday jams and alow yourself a Peppermint Mocha while doing your least favorite cleaning tasks.
4. When it comes to the day of Christmas, don’t be afraid tell extended family that you would be happy to visit them the day before or the day after. Your immediate family deserves a loving- stress free you. Allow your family time to play with their gifts and don’t rush to clean up be mess. These are the moments you’ll never get back.
5. Gratitude. End the day by listing your top three favorite moments. Write them down and store them in your Christmas decorations for some perspective next year.