It happens this time of year. You are in the department store on a mid-November day picking up a few items. In front of you is a very put-together gal with a long list. She is checking off items as the cashier rings up her purchase.
She then assumes a proud stance and announces to all within earshot, “There! That’s it! My Christmas shopping is officially all done!”
Meanwhile, you haven’t bought a single stocking stuffer yet.
It’s enough to give a gal a severe case of the "Yuletide Yikes”: the fear that grips you this time of year as you think of all that must be done.
Well, help is here! Here are a few simple strategies and doable ideas for untangling the mess that is sometimes Christmas.
Even though Norman Rockwell-type scenes may dance through our minds at this time of year, we know that for many of us, Christmas is a stressful, less-than-relaxing, and sometimes even family-feuding time of year.
So, let’s ditch the perfect images. Get rid of the unrealistic expectations, untangle Christmas and, instead, craft ourselves a memorable, though not perfect, holiday. A holiday where we can focus on what matters most! Here are a few suggestions:
Re-evaluate: Gather the family and talk honestly about what is and isn’t meaningful and important to them at the holidays. Chances are you are packing the schedule with activities, traditions and food just because you’ve always done them each year. Talk through the food and traditions and really determine what says “Christmas” to your family each year. With the rest, just let it go!
Avoid perfect. Whether in a magazine, on a computer screen, or in the back of your own mind, steer clear of those perfect images and scenarios. They only set you up for holiday failure.
Embrace imperfect. I have learned that some of our fondest memories have come from imperfect. The time the tree kept falling over and we had to hold it up with fishing line and hope no one noticed! My friend Patsy says her family’s most memorable Christmas morning was the one when everyone had the stomach flu. They had to stay home from the extended family get-togethers on both sides that day but ended up enjoying time alone as a family. Imperfect can still make perfectly fond memories!
Redefine perfect. Learn to use different measuring sticks this year. Don’t think of perfect as a Norman Rockwell-like setting with well-behaved relatives and gourmet food. Think of perfect as an unhurried time spent just being together doing something you enjoy. Think of perfect in terms of relationships not activities.
With a little shift in perspective and some new goals, you can help untangle Christmas and find the calm within the chaos!
How do you find calm within the chaos of the holidays?
Click Here and leave a comment and you could win one of two FREE Untangling Christmas: Your Go-To Guide for a Hassle-Free Holiday eBooks* by Karen Ehman and LeAnn Rice. Thanks Karen!
Update: Giveaway closed, thanks for all who entered.
*eBooks are downloadable to your computer or reading device, not Kindle or Nook versions.
Karen Ehman--Through her books, blog, and many speaking events, Karen’s passion is to provide women with creative inspiration and doable ideas to help them live their priorities and love their lives. She is the Director of the Proverbs 31 Ministries speaker team. Her new book LET. IT. GO. How to Stop Running the Show & Start Walking in Faithreleases fall of 2012 and includes a curriculum dvd and companion Bible study. The mother of three, Karen and her college sweetheart Todd just celebrated their silver anniversary. You can find her blogging at www.karenehman.com.