After venturing out today I was reminded how mental shopping, any shopping, in December can be. Even the routine grocery shop turns into an expedition of willpower, tantrums (usually me) and requests.
In the midst of the madness today I remembered that last year I wrote a little something about keeping sane at this time of year so I thought I would share it here again. Enjoy 🙂
Here a few suggestions, in no particular order, of ways that you can retain your sanity this December and get through Christmas happily. Some may grab your attention more than others and some may work for you better than others. Give some of them a go and you might just be surprised how relaxed your Christmas can be.
- Wait until Christmas Eve to put up the decorations and tree then do it as a family. Now this may sound like it will add more stress, in reality though you won’t have all those decorations continuously falling off due to kids or animals, you’ll save on power by not having to have it lit every night, there will be no temptation of squeezing, shaking and generally molesting the presents (my past time as a child). It will make you feel calmer because best of all you’ll be able to sit in the evening without a tree to remind you that the ‘Silly Season’ is upon us.
- Have a pot luck Christmas meal. Yes a pot luck meal for Christmas. Invite everyone around and let them know which kind of plate of food they need to bring. Some people who like the traditional meal may find it odd at first however they too will be converted when they see how relaxed the host/hostess is and how great it is to sample and share each other’s cuisine. Best off all they will take all those plates home – yay less dishes to wash too.
- Write a list of people you wish to give presents to then decide at least ½ of them to give homemade gifts to and the other ½ to get present for under a certain price tag. Homemade gifts don’t need to time consuming, expensive or elaborate. Make a huge batch of biscuits (cookies for those in the North) and put them in a pretty container or even a few of your recipes printed onto some coloured card for those who have been wanting them. There are lots of easy ideas out there and if you need more inspirations then look out for next week’s post 🙂
- Create a document on the computer with lots of photos from the past year inserted and share what you have been up to. Then send this out my e-mail instead of Christmas cards where possible. It will save you so much time, money and effort of writing all those addresses! Some people still love getting mail in their letterbox (that includes me) so you could always print out the letter and photos to send to them.
- Avoid the shops from December 15th onwards. ‘WHAT???!!!’ You are asking. ‘IS SHE CRAZY??!!’Well yes I am a little bit but honestly if you think about what shopping is like after this date then you’ll know what I’m talking about. The shops are mental around Christmas! Of course you will still need to go shopping for groceries, I’m just talking about a little forward planning of buying presents and the Christmas essentials (crackers, nibbles etc) before this date. After all by the end of November most shops have started putting out their Christmas wares and discounts
- Only have over the people that make you happy or go to the people who you want to be with. Life is too short to waste energy and time with people that don’t make you shine. It may be hard the first year to be selective, once you see the benefits though and how enjoyable the day can be you’ll never go back to being surrounded by energy sappers
- Smaller is better – it really is. Decide on one gift (that is one item) for each person you are going to get presents for. It will make you really think about the gift and so it will be that much more from the heart. If you find it feels too hard to think of one gift they maybe, just maybe, you shouldn’t be buying for them after all
- Go out to a neutral setting. This can be a great way to get more people you love into one setting. For those in the Southern Hemisphere it may prove a little easier when the sun is shining however I’m sure that with a few heads thinking there would be a neutral setting big enough to accommodate. The great thing is that everyone is on equal ground, everyone has to bring goodies and everyone can leave when they wish
- Have a Christmas walk as part of your Christmas Tradition. Not only will it give you a break from the house, presents and food it will make you feel so so so much better. Exercise will improve your mood, increase your energy and also help negate any Christmas over indulgences.
- Try out some EFT or meditation. Both these techniques are free, able to be done anywhere and will help you to feel calmer and more relaxed even when the S#*% hits the fan! Meditation can be as simple as finding a quiet spot and sitting with your eyes closed for 10 mins while clearing your mind. EFT works by tapping on meridian points while talking about how you are feeling. For a ‘how to’ guide for EFT check out www.eftuniverse.com
Hope this helps in maintaining your sanity in the silly season.