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Monday, December 14, 2015

 

Keeping the Happy in the Holidays


I admin a local parenting group and recently asked members of the group to share tips, tricks, and ideas for helping parents get through the holidays with a smile. I’m happy to say, the group came up with some great ideas to help parents, writers, and anyone who finds themselves stressing out during the hustle and bustle of the holidays. I wish I could tell you firsthand how I smile and laugh my way through the end of the calendar year, but admittedly…I’m a hot mess and I’m counting on these tips and tricks to help make me a little more hot and a little less mess (if you know what I mean…wink wink).

1) Make time for nothingness – you could go without sleep the entire month of December and still not run out of things to do. There will always be one more cookie to frost, corner to clean, dress to iron, paragraph to proof, gift to buy, etc… but if you spend every waking moment being busy, you’ll completely miss out on the fun. There’s nothing wrong with popping up some popcorn and watching a Hallmark Christmas Movie. Whether you have someone to watch it with or not, putting your feet up will be as enjoyable for your body as it is for your soul. Give yourself permission to do nothing and try to do this at least once a week.

2) Say no – this is tough, isn’t it? You’ve got deadlines, people counting on you, holiday parties, fundraisers, food to prepare, outfits to buy, things to make, cards to send, and the list goes on (and on and on). Did you realize that no one is going to die if you don’t send Christmas cards this year? In fact, a phone call may be a little more personal and more appreciated. It’s okay to simply attend the Advent luncheon instead of being on the planning committee or the cleanup crew. You may just have to ask cousin Gertrude or Auntie Alice to make the peanut butter balls this year or purchase the cookies instead of spending an entire weekend baking them (and if you take them out of the store container and put them on a pretty plate, it can be our little secret…people will think you spent hours slaving in the kitchen).

3) Ask for help – yes you Superwoman! It’s fine to take off your cape and hand it to someone else for a few hours. Your neighbor would love to help the kiddos wrap Christmas presents and the local shop owner can help you pick out just the right teacher’s gifts. I have a girlfriend who puts together teacher gift baskets and she’s happy to take my check and drop off gorgeous season gift baskets. Your spouse, neighbor, friend, relative would be quite happy to lend a hand. Sometimes it’s a great way for them to spread holiday cheer while helping reduce your stress. Don’t be ashamed to spend that free time writing, drinking coffee, jotting down ideas in your journal, or taking a bubble bath. You deserve it!

What are some things you’ve done in the past to help reduce some of the holiday stress in your life? What works? What does NOT work? Share your ideas as I’m sure they’ll be of value to others!

Happy Holidays from our family to yours and may your New Year be as fabulous as you are!

Crystal is a church musician, babywearing mama, business owner, active journaler, writer and blogger, Blog Tour Manager with WOW! Women on Writing, Publicist with Dream of Things Publishing, as well as a dairy farmer. She lives in Reedsville, Wisconsin with her husband, four young children (Carmen 8, Andre 7, Breccan 2, and Delphine 9 months), two dogs, two rabbits, four little piggies, a handful of cats and kittens, and over 230 Holsteins.

You can find Crystal blogging and reviewing books, baby carriers, cloth diapers, and all sorts of other stuff at:http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/
and here: http://muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com/

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3 Comments:

Blogger MP said...

Great post, Crystal. I find myself more stressed than joyful most Decembers, but I'm working on that. I'm giving myself breaks here and there, as you mentioned (a cup of coffee/tea between tasks, reading a new book on my kindle at night, etc.) Also counting the many blessings of my life helps. It's all good!

2:38 PM  
Blogger Angela said...

Crystal, is that Delphine in the pic above? She's the CUTEST baby I've ever seen! I adore her hat. :)

This December has been a little stressful but I tried to keep things simple. We hosted two Christmas parties, one for our employees and one for friends, and I had one catered with a taco truck, so no cooking! LOL. Now I can just kick back and relax and enjoy the holidays. Merry Christmas, love!

12:24 PM  
Blogger Crystal Otto said...

you're sweet Angela - and yes...that IS Delphine! (she has a personality even cuter than her smile)

I love the thought of a catering taco truck - OMG!!!!!

5:35 PM  

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