Thursday, December 9, 2010

A Less Stressful Christmas

First of all, WOW!!  You guys totally blew me away with all the sweet comments you left about my pumpkinman.  So, thank you!!  I love hearing from all of you.  It makes blogging so much more fun!  And some of you even featured Frosty the Pumpkinman on your blogs!  And you are awesome and I appreciate each one of you!  Thank you bloggie friends!!

Soooo anyway, we’ve been getting in the Christmas spirit around here.  And the good thing is that so far (fingers crossed!), I haven’t been super stressed out like I have in years past.

I don’t know about you guys, but around this time of year, there is always so much to do!  There are the things I WANT to do and then there are things I feel like I HAVE to do.  And between the two (the want-tos and the have-tos), it can become a never ending “TO DO” list of things that MUST be done before Christmas! 

Does this look anything like your list?

Todolist

 

And in an effort to get things done and checked off my monster TO-DO list, I find myself just rushing through everything.   It becomes more about the ‘getting it done’ and less about the doing and enjoying.  And then even the fun things become not so fun anymore.  It’s all enough to make me feel overwhelmed and out of control!!   Bah Humbug!!

presents1

And the worst part is that the true meaning of Christmas gets lost somewhere in all the hurry and the scurry of activities.  And I lose my peace and joy.

hudsonsantahat

So this year, I’m making a point to STRESS LESS and ENJOY MORE.

Some things I’m stressing less about:

I didn’t stress about giving perfect gifts this year.  It’s not that I didn’t give it any thought or try to think of something each person would like, it’s just that I didn’t over analyze every gift purchase that I made or worry too much that my gift wasn’t exactly what that person wanted.  With three young children, I don’t have time to go to a bazillion different stores searching for that one perfect gift for every person on my list.  I’ve also realized that most people aren’t expecting me to make all their dreams come true with my one gift.  Most people are just grateful that you thought about them enough to get them something.  So, this year I just tried my best and got it done.  Bing. Bang. Boom.  Less stress.

presents2 

(Pudgy thought I was a complete nutso when I was taking these pictures for you guys.  haha!!)

 

I also didn’t stress about hanging lights up outside.  A good friend mentioned that she just scatters strands of lights around her flower bed.  It sounded wonderfully easy enough to me, so that’s what I did.  The kids even helped and we all had fun.  I love that people spend the time to hang up their lights and make their house fun and festive for the rest of us to enjoy, but this year is just not the year for us to cover our house in an array of lights.  I’m learning that a big part of having less stress is realizing what is and what is not feasible for me to attempt at this time in my life.  Is it really worth my time, energy, and attention?  I’m learning to say “no” to the things that take away more than they add.

I also stressed less about the tree this year.  For the second year in a row now, we don’t have a real tree or the mess that comes with a real tree.  (Less stress!)  The kids hung the ornaments.  I rearranged them a little bit afterwards, but I didn’t stress over it looking perfect.  Tyson helped me wrap presents this year.  Do they look perfect? No.  Was it less stressful and more enjoyable?  After I got over the fact that they weren’t going to look perfect, Yes it was.

All this stressing less has left time for enjoying more.

Here are some things we have been enjoying….

Hot chocolate!!

hotchocolate

 

Christmas at the Falls!  We usually go to Zoolight Safari at the Birmingham zoo, but decided to try Noccalula Falls this year.  And we weren’t disappointed at all.  We were actually pretty impressed!  There’s a train you can ride (for free!) around the gardens to see all the lights.  It’s absolutely beautiful and the kids loved it!

tysonlighthouse

 

Visiting Santa.  And no one cried!santa

 

Cuddling up and reading Christmas books

christmasbooks

christmasbooks2

 

There is still more on my Christmas To-Do list (some things that CAN end up being quite stressful), but I am going to do my darndest to enjoy it and not stress over it.  Wish me luck!

tysonsanta

Does anyone have any more tips for stressing less over the holidays?

3 comments:

  1. Yay for less stress! I am also finding myself WAY less stressed than previous years. I think because we're in a new city and don't know anyone yet has a lot to do with it. We don't have a lot of "extra" things pulling us in a million directions yet. Basically I have my list of presents, cards to send, and cookies to make and that's it.

    Making lists helps me a TON. Also, breaking it down into smaller chunks really helps it feel less overwhelming. For example, today the only holiday things I did was go to the post office to buy stamps, and I went to Walmart and got all the "walmart" items on my gift list. Tomorrow I'm doing Target and Toys R Us. So...instead of a HUGE day of shopping I pick one or two stores every few days and in a week or two I'm all done. It's very manageable this way. Then, when I get all my shopping done, I separate the presents into piles and I wrap a pile or two at a time. So I'll wrap my mom's presents one day, my dad's another, and so on. For me it's much easier to do several little things a day than to look at a huge list or pile of gifts and think that I need to get it all done at once. I'm normally the type that would do it all in one day, but then I get cranky and edgy! This is much better.

    Another thing that has helped is this website:
    http://christmas.organizedhome.com/holiday-grand-plan It starts you out in August preparing for the holidays so you have less stress. I really like making the meals and cookies ahead of time and freezing them, then they're ready to go and you don't have to waste time in the hectic season to make them. :)

    Can't wait to see what others have to say!!

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  2. LOVED this post! I loved your pictures with the gifts and sweet Pudge in the corner. That hot chocolate with sprinkles is calling myname so I think I'll go make some!

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  3. i think you are the best! keep it up

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