Here’s a radical notion. How about you feeling a great sense of well being during the holidays? No stress, no rushing, no hurrying. Is that even possible?
Let’s look at our priorities, which we can only tell by our behavior. For example, if in past holiday seasons you have spent more money than you had or were running around like a chicken without its head in the last few days before Christmas or Hanukkah, you made buying gifts or “being ready” for the holidays more important than your sense of inner peace. If the holidays are for celebration and you are too exhausted, stressed or broke to enjoy it, then you have totally missed the mark since you are not able to fully enjoy the experience.
Do you know what is making you run around like that? – Just a little tyrant in your head commanding you to be perfect or to be enough or to spend enough (in order to be enough). I am no Grinch and I am totally fine with you spending, shopping and preparing to your heart’s delight. As long as you can afford the money the energy and the time. However, if not, you do not have to listen to that little voice in your head. You CAN be in charge and I suggest that you decide to put emotional wellbeing as well as physical wellbeing first. Decide that it is better to be calm and to breathe easy than to have all the material things in place. I know families where the parents have to buy mounds of gifts, not only for their children, but their nieces and nephews and grandchildren and neighbors’ kids. If all that spending and running around is stressful, don’t do it. If there has been a tradition, change the tradition. I had one couple who let everyone in their family and extended family know that they were only getting one gift per child; no adult gifts and the expense limit per (child’s) gift was $50. That is what worked for them and they said that they expected no more from anyone else. They asked that those wishes would be honored and understood. They had a guilt-free and stress hormone-free holiday experience and had a wonderful time partying and socializing with their extended family. If they can do it, so can you!