Posted by Karen Degen on 5th December 2016
Tags: sane at Christmas
- If you don’t want to do it don’t. If it involves a sense of guilt or obligation don’t do it. If you think either “I should” or “I shouldn’t” then forget it. Make a goal to please yourself this Christmas. If someone else gets pleased along the way that’s a bonus, but not your goal. If you are not used to saying “no” to people read the chapter about how to do that in my book Heightening Your Happiness (shameless plug sorry).
- When you go on holiday don’t pack your worries. Leave them behind. If they are real ones they will be there when you get back.
- Don’t give presents or send cards. That might sound very ‘bah humbug’ but I’ve been doing it for years. I love it. My Christmas is truly and completely about family. There is no commercial element. My friends and family don’t need a card because I see them all the time. If I want to say “thinking of you” to someone I haven’t seen for a while I will ring them. That means far more these days. To pick up the phone and give your time and energy to an actual conversation! As for presents if you really must, do an anonymous family draw. Each person draws one name and buys for that person only. Everyone gets a gift. The benefit is you only have to shop for one gift.
- Get everyone to bring a dish for Christmas dinner. Even if you are hosting it you can provide one dish just like everyone else. Choose the easiest one. For me that’s usually meat. Throw it in the oven and your job is done. Let the others bring the dessert and the veges/salad etc. If you like to have a lot of different dishes, then everyone brings two. Make sure you choose first what you want to contribute and not last as it might be the hardest thing. For me the hardest is fruit salad because you have to go out in rush hour traffic the day before to buy fresh strawberries or raspberries. The shops are horrendous and the drive there and back takes three times as long.
- Which brings me to item 5. Shop well ahead of time. Definitely don’t leave things until the last minute or during peak times.
- Lower your usual high standards and cut yourself some slack. That can be your Christmas present to yourself. Ask yourself “will the world fall apart if I don’t do this”? If the answer is “no” then don’t do it. Yes, this is a kind of repeat of No.1 but it’s so important I wanted to make sure you got it. Do less! For instance, if you don’t want to do the dishes or clear up then don’t. If you don’t do it one of two things will happen. (1) someone else will do it (2) no one will offer in which case you ask for help.
- Christmas is the time for love. Love yourself first. Think only loving, accepting, kind thoughts about yourself. Don’t pull yourself down for anything. That is the greatest give you can give – the gift of loving and accepting yourself. Give it now.