Making a conscious effort at Keeping Calm This Holiday Season has really paid off in relaxation and ease.
Being thoughtful in choosing to do only the things that bring joy to my family has made for a less rushed, less forced and much more enjoyable holiday season.
Keeping Calm This Holiday Season
It’s two days before Christmas. I’m sitting next to the fireplace coffee in hand, light dusting of snow on the ground and Christmas music in the background reflecting on the season.
The kids are sleeping, the tree is all lit up and I’m completely content.
I could think about all the things we didn’t get to this season. All the things I didn’t share with you here. I wanted to do so much. Hundreds of holiday fairs, light shows, parades, parties and want-to-do’s always calling to me. Lists of holiday crafts and foods and party ideas that I wanted to share with you.
Instead, I’m keeping calm this holiday season. Enjoying time with family. And this is the most relaxed the season has felt for a long time.
Fear Of Missing Out
If you’re like me and have an internal drive and desire to do ABSOLUTELY everything with everyone at all times it makes this entire season even more difficult. Can you say serious FOMO? Fear Of Missing Out causes me to genuinely want to do all the things. It also causes me to feel extreme disappointment when I can’t do it all. I’m convinced it’s a genetic disorder.
My father, oldest son and I all say yes to absolutely every invitation. Then do everything in our power to try to find 50 hours in the day just to do it all. I’m working on managing my FOMO and am now more realistic when I plan my holiday season. I ask my kids what’s important to them and be thoughtful when planning what we can feasibly fit in.
Thoughtful Holiday Planning
In the few weeks we have to jam in all the Christmas to-do’s that we’ve imposed on ourselves sometimes we really just have to sit back and analyze which things are the most important and why? This year, instead of forcing my family to do all the things that I want to do I asked them what was important and really narrowed down what was feasible for our life.
Once an annual tradition that I relished, Santa visits and photos are no longer on our agenda. Family Christmas shopping days? Nope. Now, instead we do the things that the kids really enjoy.
They love tromping through the evergreens seeking out a perfect Christmas tree and keeping an eye out for forest critters. All the kids have a great time baking (and eating!) gingerbread houses and sugar cookies. They each take their time placing their ornaments on the tree. Love making wish lists for Santa and anxiously await his video reply. Together they leave him a note on Christmas eve with his cookie and Rudolph’s carrot.
These are the things that are important to them. These are the things that we make a priority over this busy season.
If we have time, we drive up to the mountains to play in the snow. If we have the supplies on hand, we invite friends over to craft holiday gifts. If we have a great family photo, we send Christmas cards. If the whole family is home, we choose a holiday movie from a hat and try to sit through the entire thing together. And sometimes we will load up the family with hot cocoa in hand and drive around looking at Christmas lights.
These are all the bonuses that we do if it works but don’t stress too much about.
There is one thing that the kids don’t love but I refuse to part with. Christmas music. I love it, but only for the two or three weeks leading up to the big day. I don’t think that’s too much to ask of my family, do you? For the most part they deal with it because they know how happy it makes me.
I make Spotify playlists for all the different occasions the season brings:
- O Christmas Tree with lots of tannenbaum themed songs and Christmas classics perfect for car sing alongs when driving to pick out the tree and when decorating it later that night
- Kids Christmas for jamming out to when creating and crafting with the kids
- Christmas Background is my favorite for playing over the speakers in my home all season long. Full of blues, jazz and soul jams it’s Christmas music without being all up in your face about it
- Christmas Party with lots of fun and upbeat Christmas Songs
- Christmas Eve loaded with religious classics and touching holiday ballads
- Christmas Morning for beautiful music to play in the background while the family gathers around the tree for gift giving
I just really enjoy curating the perfect playlists for my life. I’m currently working on a Christmas playlist to listen to if it’s snowing. It’s just one of the many ways I’m keeping calm this holiday season.
How do you choose what’s important for your family? What are your tricks for keeping calm this holiday season?
Happiest of Holidays to you and yours!