Today the Wendy Weetabix question on Facebook was:
While the holidays are joyous for many, there can also be moments of extreme stress, disorganization, and sometimes depression. What is your Life Pro Tip for surviving the holidays?
“You don’t have to do any of it.” Repeat this mantra as needed.
As I've gotten older, I've realized that the best thing I can do for myself and for my family is to let go of the thought that I have to do all of the hectic rushing around of shopping, decorating, baking, and other Christmas rituals.
In fact, I don't have to do any of it. This revelation is incredibly freeing for me.
It doesn't mean that I don't do anything. It means that I do the things that I want to do and that mean the most to me.
Take the whole tree deal, for example.
We are finally getting our tree tomorrow. I ordered it from FTD yesterday evening - it's a wee tabletop tree, complete with lights and decorations. Fedex is delivering it. We will set it up and put on the decorations and we will be done! Joe, God bless him, decided that he wasn't up for messing with a real tree this year and I breathed a big sigh of relief. We actually looked for an artificial tree, but couldn't find one that was both reasonably priced and not tacky looking. Next year we'll start earlier - or maybe we'll get another table top tree from FTD!
Another example - shopping. I did not set foot in a single store this year; I ordered everything online. I believe Joe did too - but I have not asked. One wants to leave a little mystery intact when it comes to Christmas presents. Christmas shopping madness gives me agita, so online is definitely the way to go!
Then there's the whole Christmas dinner ordeal. Last year I realized that it didn't have to be turkey. It's really hard to find a turkey that only feeds three people. I know I could do a turkey breast, but I have opted for a nice big roasted chicken. And, I do break out my nice china for the occasion, because it makes me happy. I will not celebrate without my gramma's pumpkin pie, either.
Finally, there's travel. A couple of years ago I realized that we didn't have to drive down to my sister's for Christmas Eve dinner. I'd been dreading that trip. Driving down I-95 is no one's idea of a good time, even when there's no traffic and the weather is good. So, rather than drive down and arrive pissed off and tired, we now take the train from Philly to Baltimore, where SonnyeBoy picks us up and we head for my sister's house.
Not only that, we splurge on business class. The ride is peaceful, comfortable, and fun.
So that's my new rule. If I start getting worked up and stressed out because I'm not doing something I think I should do, I just chant, "You don't have to do any of it."