One thing 2020 taught us all is that flexibility in all things is a strength. How we approach the 2021 holiday season is no different. The holidays are notoriously busy, stressful, and overwhelming, and sometimes, if not most of the time, we are not able to experience the joy of the season.
This year I am choosing to approach the holiday season with INTENTION. I will not do the things I have always done or allow perceived obligation or the great mom-guilt monster to come knocking.
Let us start by identifying what your values are when it comes to the holiday season. By values, I mean what feels the most important to you this holiday season. Values are fluid and can shift from year to year but normally will centralize around common themes.
Examples of values could be volunteering or community service, child-centered fun, relaxation, connection, quality time, food, traditions, etc. The list could go on and on, but hopefully, this gets your wheels turning. Whatever you identify as your value(s) can become your anchor when deciding how to go about celebrating the holidays.
Here are some tangible ways I am decreasing stress during the holidays.
I do not know about you, but my family has always valued food and lots of it during the holidays. While food and cooking have been of value for me in the past, it is not one I am focusing on this year. With that being said, I am choosing to lighten my load by utilizing some catering services so I can enjoy eating something delicious without all of the time-consuming preparation. Here are a few places that I have used in the past for delicious holiday meals and some that I plan to use this year as well.
- Carican’s Jerk Turkey (The BEST!)
- Whole Foods
- Ganache Patisserie
- Frida Southwest
- Local Cookie Bakers (I love a cute, delicious sugar cookie!)
- Clark’s Crew BBQ (We are doing BBQ for Christmas!)
Another value I am prioritizing this year is quality time over accomplishing to-dos. For example, not worrying about having a spick and span home, holiday pajamas (If I come across some, great, but I am not stressing over finding them), taking professional holiday pictures, or hosting our annual Christmas Party this year. What I am looking forward to is enjoying some laziness, movies, board games, and fun with the ones I love.
Do things that make you happy. This is the magic question, right? It is also different for everyone. For large gatherings, I have ordered a table, linens, and chairs from our local event rental company, Marianne’s. This summer, I had so much fun finding vintage mix-match china. Now, I do not know what is on the menu but whatever it is, it will be served in style and that makes me happy, not stressed!
There is always a choice to do something different. To move in a flexible way this holiday season and prioritize your values rather than your obligations or stressful expectations. Cheers to celebrating holidays differently this year!