”Let the holiday anxiety begin”. “It doesn’t feel like Christmas at all”. “If it wasn’t for kids I wouldn’t even bother with Christmas.” “It’s not fair that I have to buy for my sisters four kids, the same price of present for each, and they only have to buy for my one kid”. “I love when Christmas is over because then we can actually enjoy some time together “. “Christmas is exhausting.”
These are just some of the sentences I have heard from people I have been talking to about Christmas and I have seen so many posts on social media with three same sentences and expressions.
I want to write this to remind you that you get to choose your holiday season. And I’m not saying this as in “change your thoughts change your life” kind of talk. I mean you literally get to choose your holidays. If you want to go to less suppers, say no to some invites so you go to less suppers. If you want to go to more suppers go to more suppers. Do gifts or don’t do gifts. Volunteer somewhere or give a donation or skip town and stay somewhere till New Year’s Day.
You get to choose
A new friend (the one above who said she has to buy for 4 kids and her family only buys for her 1) and I were chatting and she said “I love that you’re not stressed about Christmas”. And I said to her, “It’s because we’re doing the holidays the way we want to this year and set a boundaries. Try setting boundaries with your family and tell them what you’re comfortable with doing this year and not. Tell them, I’m buying one gift for my kid and yours kids and it’ll be something they enjoy when we are all together”.
She said she felt like she’s not allowed.
I asked her, “By who? Who said you’re not allowed”. She laughed and said “No one but I’m scared someone will be mad or I’m going to let everyone down”.
This fear and pressure we get from family or our own thoughts or seeing the Christmas scene we see on TV has made this crazy pressure. Yes, it’s crazy. It’s what’s making you feel crazy and not feel JOY during this time of year.
It’s way too much. It’s like an illusion we’re all trying to live up to and it’s an unrealistic responsibility to try and make everyone happy when that’s not your purpose. You do what makes you and your loved ones happy. That’s it. The end.
Everyone else is responsible for their own happiness and sceneries this season and every day really.
This new friend, after our convo said she’s going to set a new boundary this year for Christmas. 1 gift for the 4 kids and next years it’s an experience as a family with her sisters family (like sledding and hot chocolate and doing the make a wish foundation Christmas walk together to raise donations). She said “next year will be even better and the year after because the expectation from everyone will be different !”
You create the experience and boundary !
you get to choose
This year we are doing NO gifts to each other, ourselves or anyone else. NONE. Instead we are focusing on experiences. Leading up to December we told our family right away we weren’t doing gifts . If they want to get us and the kids something because THEY want to, then they can give if that’s what their heart desires! We wanted them to know we weren’t going to gift them a present in the form of an item. They would come in experiences. We talked to the kids about this too and I think at first they were looking at us like, are you serious? Ahaha ! They realized we were and they were totally good with it !
We had one awesome experience with Fabian’s mom so far. We spent the afternoon with her in the kitchen learning how to make her cabbage rolls and, famous to us, potato salad. We then got to eat this all with her and Fabians sister as a Christmas supper. Ma’s partner needed a foot care nurse so we are going to surprise him by making an at home visit for him as an experience with a local care nurse in their small town to help that family out too !
Not having the pressure to shop and wrap and drive gifts around has made for such a stress free feeling. When you get to choose experiences it can be now or later. It’s something you want to do, can look forward to and have such a good feeling from that LASTS!
Its has also encouraged our family to not feel like they need to buy us stuff just to fill empty space in a bag. If they get us a gift it’s a thoughtful one…. Like… I remember this year this happened and you needed this so I got you this and it’s so thoughtful OR handmade !!
It has turned out to be such an enjoyable holiday season so far and it’s only just starting !
You get to choose how you spend your holidays this year and every year. Give yourself permission to take the pressure off and find the real JOY this season can bring and the slowing down feeling thats encouraged.
Comment below with your stories of the changes you are making this holiday season and tag me in your stories to encourage others to create their own version of the holidays .