The holiday brings about a touch of anxiety along with a good case of stress for many people. Since I have simplified our holidays to create a more zen vibe, I want to share my secrets. Before and when our kids were little, we catered to EVERYONE else. By this I mean, packing up all of their crap and lugging it over to other family member’s homes. One day, when my head spun around and I had a small nervous breakdown, I began to realize that I need to stop the insanity.
1. If you have small children, spend Christmas morning with just YOUR immediate family. Start that tradition NOW before it is too late. I spent too many years doing Christmas morning at the in-laws. Not that it wasn’t great, but it hindered my own tradition making process.
2. If you are hosting a holiday dinner, DO NOT serve appetizers. This just prolongs people staying.
3. Have dinner ready when they walk in the door. Since you didn’t serve appetizers, those people are hungry. Viola! Dinner is served. You just saved yourself an hour of endless talking with cousin Lou.
4. Don’t exchange presents. You really don’t know cousin Lou, so why do you have to buy him a present? Yes, it is the season of giving, but give to a charity. Your family will appreciate that.
5. Smile and Nod. Yes, those family members saying annoying things. Smiling and nodding, just allows you to let the moment pass without having an opinion on anything that is said. Sometimes as I smile and nod, Jingle Bells play in my head. While smiling and nodding, think about what you are going to do as soon as these people leave.
6. Keep it Simple. Don’t try that fancy recipe you found on Pinterest. Look the reality is you don’t need to wear yourself out trying new recipes. You are not auditioning for the Food Network. Buy already prepared dishes. I heard some gasps, but trust me, you will thank me later after they all leave.
7. Vacation. Here is the final and probably the most important tip, send your family on a trip after the holidays. Yep, my husband and boys, pack up and go visit family in Florida. I get a week to myself!!!! For a while, it was controversial that I wasn’t coming with them, but who cares. It is the perfect opportunity for them to do “guy” things without me around, plus, did I mention that I am ALONE!!
Now, if you totally disagree with the above suggestions, you are either Martha Stewart or you get caught up in all this holiday fan fare. Fantastic! No judgement at all! For the realist, enjoy my tips and I hope they serve you well.