I love the holidays. I have always loved the holidays. I love decorating. I love thinking of just the right gift for every person on my list. I love Thanksgiving. I love to cook and to try out new recipes and to be in the kitchen with my favorite people in the world. The list could go on and on. My love for this time of year has not changed since becoming a parent, it may have even grown now that I have a little one I get to incorporate into all of these wonderful family traditions. What has changed though is the increased amount of pressure I feel to make the holidays perfect for those around me. While I know I don’t need to be making 13 different kinds of cookies each year, 6 would suffice, I just can’t seem to let some things go (but I need to). That being said, I am committing to do some things that decrease the pressure I have felt in recent years, while at the same time keeping the holiday cheer ever so present in my life.
- Make time for myself – Try to predict when I will need to step away and get some “me” time… and plan it! Kristin and I planned on meeting up the Saturday after Thanksgiving for lunch and to do some holiday shopping. Thanksgiving was very busy in both of our families so it was nice just to get some (low pressure) down time to unwind with a friend.
- Prioritize – Some things are just not going to be a priority for this year. I plan to decorate, just not to the extent I have in the past. This is for my own sanity but also because I have an 18 month old who is a pro at finding anything not toddler-proofed. It’s quite impressive.
- Meal prep – yeah… I know, this is not a food or health blog, but I am working on having actual meals – especially for Zach and I. Being a working parent, there are many nights that I come home in a frenzy looking for something to throw in the microwave so my kid can have some semblance of a halfway balanced meal. Which usually means I eat her scraps or a bowl of Raisin Bran crumbs (do you know how gross soggy bran flakes are?). I am hoping to find some time on the weekends to get a couple dinners for the week ready so that they can easily be prepped when we get home at night.
- Say no (guilt-free) – If it’s going to add a lot of pressure to my family’s plate, then I am probably going to say no. If I just don’t feel like doing it… then that’s a good enough reason to not do it.
- Shamelessly play a crap-ton of holiday music (eh, I already do this but I am putting it here anyway)
This is my short list so far. The holidays are such a beautiful time of year, full of innocence, love, family, and kindness. These are the themes I hope to carry through this season and avoid the things that foster exasperation. May your holiday season be stress-free and full of all the things you love.
Peace, Joy, and lots of Egg Nog,