Strategies for a less-stressful Holiday

I have a tendency to take on too much during the holidays.

Big Shocker, hunh?

000be presentWhen I take on too much, I feel like I miss the chance to be present for my family.  I hate that, so this year I’m doing something about it.

During the Holidays, I don’t want to lose myself, and I don’t want to miss out on the joy that is unfolding around me.  Instead, I’ve developed a few strategies I’m hoping will help me not to get lost in all the “stuff” that comes along with a visit from the fam.

Here’s my short list:

1.  I’m going to cook, bake, store, and freeze meals before the holiday.  When its time to eat, we will choose the meal we want, roll it outta the fridge, and throw it in the oven or crock pot–which leads to my second strategy for remaining stress free and in the moment this year.

2.  I will be using the crock pot more, and roasting meats and root veggies. Oh, how I love a roasted vegetable, caramelized to perfection. Yes, YES, we will be doing lots of that this year.

3.  I will be buying throw-away plates; those stiff paper ones we can burn without hurting the environment. These are what we’ll be eating on.  Maybe not for Christmas day, but the rest of the week we will.

4.  I’m going to be hosting a picnic in the living room more than once while the munchkins are in town.  If its warm enough, we may even take the show on the road, to the valley play land.

5.  I’ve also decided to hand out duty slips each day, especially focusing on meal times: some for the older crowd and some for the wee ones, so that everyone can help in the set up and clean up, instead of the usual, which involves me doing everything.

I’m hoping these strategies will help me to feel less stressed this Christmas and avoid the trap that is self obsession.  I don’t want to wander away in my mind, or be overworked the whole time my favorite people in the world are under our roof.  No way. I want to live in the moment and savor each one.

This year, my motto will be:

Be Present with the Presents God’s Given You!


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