Mama, I know you’ve got about five seconds flat before a little human needs your attention. So while I’ve got your attention, let me share five ways you can change the story of your holiday season. (And with all the time and energy I’m about to save you, maybe you can take an extra moment for yourself!)
1. DON’T COMPARE
Like seriously, don’t do it. I know this is probably one of the most often-given pieces of advice, but there’s a reason for it. We really have a hard time quitting the comparison game! I know the fears, because I feel them myself. What if your family misses out on a piece of happiness? What if people think you don’t have it all together? Can I give you a little secret? Most families do not qualify for the hallmark channel Christmas movie. Live your own story. Make your holiday season the best for you and yours. And don’t invite comparison over for dinner!
2. SET EXPECTATIONS
Let people know ahead of time that you don't expect a gift, or that your budget is limited. When the PTA asks for holiday volunteers, respectfully decline – saying that you’re doing the holidays different this year. And don’t worry what others think. Chances are you’ll be cozy at home with your family while they’re running around like mad to do it all! Be upfront with what can be expected of you, and what you expect of others. And stick to it! (Need help saying no? Here are 25 ideas!)
3. INVOLVE YOUR KIDS
How often do we find ourselves carting our family to events that no one wanted to do in the first place!? Ask your kids what they want to do this holiday season. Maybe visiting a tree farm isn’t a high priority, but baking cookies is. Or maybe one visit to Santa is all you need to make spirits bright. Involve your children, and chances are you both will be way more happy and less stressed with fewer to-dos on the list. Grab our holiday planner right here, and give everyone in your family a voice with the ‘Family Traditions’ page.
From the decorations in your home to presents you buy, less is more. Throw all your festive energy into one room of the house. Cut down your Christmas list to only close family or friends. Consider giving a set number of gifts to your children. I want you to be all in, not all wiped out!
5. CONSIDER OTHERS
Scientifically, acts of altruism – considering others more than yourself – has a positive impact on your own health and happiness. (And who are we to argue with science!?) Maybe you can do a random act of kindness, like paying for a stranger’s meal or bringing treats to department store workers. Or provide a meal to a family in need, or volunteer your time with a local charity. Generosity is always a win-win, not to mention a natural mood-booster and stress reliever!
We’d love to hear how you implement these ideas in your holiday celebrations, and wish you a very Merry Christmas.
(And if you're using your new Brilliant Life Planner to keep your holidays in order, please show us on social media! Use the hashtag #brilliantlifeplanner. And if you want a Brilliant Life Planner, click right here to shop our four gorgeous covers.)