“Maybe Christmas, doesn’t come from a store… Maybe perhaps, it means a little bit more…” – The Grinch
Christmas is right around the corner, and you know what that means. Most of us are either already home or heading home for the holidays, and preparing ourselves to spend lots of quality time with family and friends. And by preparing, I mean preparing. The holidays can get somewhat chaotic for many of us in our twenties. We aren’t really sure what we are doing with our lives yet. We aren’t financially stable whatsoever… Well, most of us aren’t. We are surrounded by social media influencers that make it look easy to stay “fit” over the holidays. The list is endless of mediums that provide us with misconceptions over the holidays. It no longer is this fun time of year that it used to be when we were 8 years old. Or is it? Maybe, our perception is just off, but the true meaning of the holiday season is still there. Maybe, we are just enduring a lot of changes in our own personal life, that made us stop looking at the big picture. Or maybe, just maybe, we are forgetting the true meaning of the holiday season – which is finding joy in all things.
I know I am guilty of thinking the most expensive gift will WOW my family, or that I need to visit every possible high school friend in order to feel like I am a decent human being. However, the holiday’s should not feel THAT hectic, rather, it should be something you are looking forward too. At least a little bit.
Here are 21 tips that I try to remember when I begin feeling overwhelmed, stressed, or just need a change of pace to truly embrace the “holiday spirit”.
Money Isn’t Everything
Try to not worry so much about money this time of year. I know it can be hard with how much of an emphasis we have put on gift-giving as a society. However, don’t be so concerned with getting everyone the best and latest gift that it makes you go broke or lose your mental-sanity.
Eye’s Up, Phone Down
Put your phone down. Pay attention to the world around you. That snapchat can wait. That selfie your going to post… Yeah, that can wait too. Try to spend some quality time with those that you are surrounded by.
Taking Time To Yourself Is Okay
And while spending quality time is AMAZING, take some time to check on yourself too. Whether that is reading a book, going to the gym, or simply going upstairs to get some quiet time, make sure you are checking in with yourself every once in a while.
Remember, Eat A Cookie Or Two
If you’re anything like me, you try your very best to be healthy and nutritious. But, don’t totally restrict during the holidays. Personally, I have found that restricting can be worse than just indulging slightly. So, go for it. Eat that cookie. You are not going to kill to your progress by having one.
Do Something With JUST Your Mom, Or JUST Your Dad
Try to spend one on one time with the ones who raised you. I promise you, you wont regret it and it will mean the world to them.
Stay Positive, This Is Your Life
Don’t worry about what your cousin Shelia is doing down in LA or fret about your sister who just got into Med School. YOU ARE DOING JUST FINE TOO. This is your life, not theirs. Be happy for them, and stay positive towards yourself.
If All Else Fails, Remember “This Too Shall Pass”
The Holidays can be overwhelming. And if 2018 is not all the you dreamt of, just remember, that this too shall pass. It doesn’t last forever. So if it starts going south, make the best of it, and move on.
Don’t Over-Schedule Yourself
Guilty as charged, I am a chronic over-scheduler (is that a word?). I want to please everyone so I say “yes” to whatever plan comes my way, and then I either end up feeling super chaotic or awful for wanting to bail. Don’t over-schedule yourself this holiday season. Yes, it is great to catch up with old friends, but also take time to catch up with yourself.
Remember That Jesus Is The Reason For The Season
This one is pretty self explanatory, but it is easy to get caught up in the festivities that Christmas-time can bring. I love the cookie-baking and the gift giving, but I do always try to remember, the One True King was born during this season, and He is the reason we get to live so freely.
Now Is Not The ONLY Time To Spread “Cheer”
My dear friend, Rebecca, wrote a super cool blog about how December is not the only time we should be spreading cheer. This concept really made me think because it is so true. To read her blog on this topic click here.
Pics Or It Didn’t Happen, Right?
Yes, I did state to put your phone down and talk to those around you, however, pictures are everything during this time of year! Snap a quick photo with that cousin you don’t normally see or with your grandma who is 85. I promise you, in 25 years, you will be thankful you did.
It’s The Little Things That Matter Most
Hold the door open for someone as you are rushing through the grocery store, or buy an extra hot chocolate for your mom on your way to your parents Christmas Eve party. It is the little things that will make an everlasting mark.
Be Kind Through It All
There will be moments, as I have previously stated, when you are overwhelmed or stressed. Something that someone says might push your buttons or an activity that you have to do might not necessarily be your favorite, however, be kind through it all. In a world where you can be anything, be kind.
Take Advantage Of Family Time
Maybe you see your family a lot already, or maybe you are the exact opposite. However, your twenties are such a special time because you are finally starting to truly “adult” or somewhat figure out your life path. Therefore, cherish each and every moment you get to spend with your family, as your dynamics could change or soon traditions could switch as the family grows. Enjoy this time.
This Time Of Year Means Everything To Your Parents, Embrace It
Sure, taking family photos is stressful, but do it anyways. Going to thousands of Christmas parties is a lot to handle, but you can do it. Just like I stated above, soon everything will begin to change, I know in my household it is. Therefore, embrace these moments of peace and comfort with your family.
Holidays Can Be Rough For A Lot Of People – When In Doubt, Reach Out
The holidays aren’t filled with joy for everyone. For some people, the holidays are a very difficult time to get through. Therefore, reach out, and spread the joy however you can to those who you know might need it the most.
Your Presence Is The Best Present
Okay, my mom has always says this to me and I never began to believe until now. Again, you don’t have to spend loads of money to show someone you care about them. Spend quality time with friends and family, it doesn’t get better than that.
Be A Little Bit More Like Buddy The Elf
We all have seen the movie Elf, and if you haven’t stop reading this right now and go watch it. Okay… Now we have all seen the movie Elf and I am sure you know what I am talking about when I say “be a little bit more like Buddy the Elf.” Don’t be a scrooge this year, just embrace the season and all of it’s festivities.
It’s Okay To Get A Little Off Track – Don’t Sweat It.
Many of us workout and eat healthy. Many of us read our Bible’s and have daily prayer time. Many of us journal and meditate. We all have that one thing that makes us “sane” or feel mentally/physically stable, however, it can be hard to stick to it during the holiday season. Therefore, if you get a little off track, don’t sweat it. If you miss a work out, that is okay, just pick back up the next day. Don’t beat yourself up for not following your normal routine, in fact, the little changes in your daily schedule the holiday season can bring might actually be a very healthy thing for you.
Do That ONE Thing You Always Wanted To Do During The Holidays
The best way to embrace the chaos of the holidays is to take your mind off of all of the visiting and gift giving, and do something fun. Go ice skating, make dozens of cookies, take one day to dedicate to doing something that you’ve always wanted to do.
It’s Only A Few Weeks, Enjoy It
Okay, this is getting old right? WRONG. I cannot stress enough that the holidays are that much better if you just embrace the chaos and soak in every minute of it. Put your phone down, make some cookies, and enjoy these next few weeks.
Granted, this is a lot easier said than done, right? It’s easy to say don’t stress, but when 40 family members are at your household it is kind of hard to do that. It is easy to say don’t beat yourself up for eating 12 cookies, but again, easier said then done. The holidays are chaotic, and more times than not, they are a mess. However, that mess can become a beautiful mess if you learn to just tweak your perspective a little bit. Therefore, sit back, relax, and just try to enjoy the ride. You might find that in a few years looking back on this, it really wasn’t so bad.
Happy Holidays everyone.
With all that I am,