I’m reading a lot at the moment about how to ‘survive the holidays’ or how to ‘Cope at Christmas’.
This seems a little sad to me.
Aren’t the holidays about happiness, fun, enjoyment and togetherness?
Where are all the survival and coping skills needed? This is a day to celebrate and eat nice food – it’s not a war zone!
Here are a few simple guidelines to help you enjoy the holidays – after all they are meant to be a nice time.
Write a list, go shopping (early or late if you can to avoid the crowds) and don’t get too hung up on anything on the list. If the shop hasn’t got the particular type of potato you want, get another one – I bet no-one notices! If they have run out of turkey, get chicken – it tastes better anyway.
2. Prepare some more
Cook dishes that you can cook in advance and heat up on the day. The more you have done before the celebration, the more time you have to enjoy it.
Wrap presents – check that you have batteries if you need them.
If you have people coming round, make sure you have enough chairs, plates, cutlery etc.
You don’t own the holiday. Get people to help you. Yes it would be nice if they just did stuff without asking, but they’re not mind readers and they just need to be asked. Emphasis on the ask – asking will get you everywhere, telling will get you problems.
4. If you’re on your own and are likely to feel lonely, decide in advance what you are going to be doing.
Don’t sit and be sad – do stuff. Read a book, watch TV, go for a walk, redecorate a room, start your spring cleaning – do something!
Also appreciate the fact that you have this time to do exactly what you want. There will be someone in a crowded room, with frayed nerves and a headache who would give their left arm to be you right now.
5. If you’ve got people coming round and you think you’ll feel overwhelmed, plan in down time.
Too many people can be a bit much sometimes, so find a way to get some space – take a nap, go for a walk, hide in a bedroom for a bit whilst you get everyone else to clear away….
Also take some time out to appreciate the people you are with. These should be people you care about – Love even – so make sure you realise that you are lucky to have them with you.
6. Don’t expect it to be perfect.
Christmas is NEVER perfect except in films.
Things don’t always go to plan, people have arguments, kids get tired and whiny, people forget gifts, people don’t like gifts, food gets burned, people go to sleep – whatever happens, it’s OK.
Whatever type of celebration you have, enjoy it. It’s just one day, so make the most of it.
If you really can’t do that, then at least you know that it’s all going to be over soon, and you won’t have to think about it for another year!