12 Days of Christmas!!!
Ahh! Only 12 more days until Christmas? It caught me off guard too. By now some of the events and holidays happenings are over. Count down is here. Crunch time. A great time to release, restore and remember!
Release You can't do it all. Let go of the those things that are "fluff", nice but unnecessary and spend your remaining days doing what matters. Make a"Have To" list, those things that mean the most. For me, that's being with family, having my home inviting (NOT PERFECT) for them and be present with them (NOT spending the majority of my time in the kitchen). Make an "Optional" list, those things that if you have time and feel like it you will do. They're not the most important and will not make or break your holiday time. Now make a "Let Go" list, those things that you will not do this year. I let go of making a million different types of cookies several years back and have not missed it.
Release expectations you have of yourself and the "perfect" Christmas. Seeking for perfection will keep you on a never ending cycle and exhausted before, during and after gatherings. Release and simplify. Be in the present, enjoy the moment and the people around you.
Restore This is the time of season you have more tasks to do, more events and eat more food leaving you stressed and stuffed.
Right now, with 12 days left take a deep breath and plan "down time" to restore. Time at home relaxing, watching a movie, reading a book, eating healthy and getting enough sleep. No time. You can't afford to not take some time.
You're stress meter will be reduced and you will be able to enjoy the holidays.
Remember You almost can't NOT, (I know double negative), remember memories of past holidays with all your sense being ignited with sights, sounds, smells, sensations and tastes. This can bring up grief for those no longer with you. You may want to try to ignore and push it away. I urge you to embrace the memories, the loved ones and the stories. It will not make your holidays sad; it will add a richness and relief. Some ideas are to tell younger ones stories, make a food that was grandma's tradition, light a candle in memory of loved ones or put special ornaments on a tree.
Remember the meaning behind Christmas. The "fluff", presents, food and decorations do not really give lasting joy. It's the family, friends, new memories made and for me, it's the birth of Jesus, who came to this earth to overcome death and give us eternal life.