It's that time of year that 'To-Do' Lists grow to epic proportions; our calendars overflow with parties, events and get together's; budgets get thrown out the window and literally every waking hour is filled with some sort of holiday preparation.
Just writing this is making me nervous in anticipation of the upcoming Holiday Season. I have lists upon lists, shopping to do, wreaths to create, gifts to wrap, cookies to bake, a house to decorate, gifts to make, cards to write and mail, parties to attend, workouts to fit in, a 9-5 job to focus on......I`m sure this list of tasks is similar to yours and as overwhelming as it can be, I enjoy every second of these activities. But....in reality.....can I really do this all on my own? ...And even more so.....Is there a reason why I need to try to do this all on my own?
A gal pal and I were out for dinner the other night and got talking about the pressures that come along this year. We came to the realization that a lot of these pressures are purely self inflicted....We can be so hard on ourselves during the holiday season and this must stop!
We feel that everything must be perfect (we see everyone's "perfect" lives on social media and forget that no one's life is really THAT perfect), that we must do/create everything ourselves (heaven forbid you ask for help) and that it all must be done in a way that looks effortless (if only we had staff to help us)!
WE MUST STOP THIS!
IT'S OK to not be everything, to everyone, at all times! Especially this time of year.
This is a time of year that flies by in a blur, when we really should be spending time enjoying it with family and friends, immersing ourselves in the beauty and magic of the season. How many of us can actually say that we've really been able to do this in the last decade?
When you're making your list for all of your Holiday Tasks....why not make 2 columns? One for "Made by Me" and the second being "Made by Others". This is the time of year to prioritize, prioritize, prioritize and be sure to truly put value in your personal time as every minute counts.
Ask yourself, what are the Top 6 Holiday Tasks that I would "like to create myself" but that you know wholeheartedly that someone else could do for you. For instance, something like Holiday Baking...sure, you can head to the grocery store, buy all the supplies you need, get home, do all the prep, bake, cool and package the cookies, cupcakes, tarts, squares......I'm exhausted just thinking about all of this. Even though it's something you enjoy doing, maybe this year it's time to contact a wonderful local bakery and ask them to do your baking for you. Sure, on paper the direct monetary cost may seem to be a bit more (or it may not be), but remember what your time is worth. Your baking marathon may take an entire weekend, whereas you can pick up a phone and place an order for Christmas Goodies in less than 10 minutes. When you pick up the Goodies (or maybe they even deliver), you can still package them up in your own unique way, or maybe the bakery could even do that for you too.
Take those 6 Tasks and put 3 into the "Made by Me" column and 3 into the "Made by Others"column.
Believe me....I understand how difficult it is to 'give up' part of your Holiday Ritual(s) that you enjoy doing, but what you gain back in time and decreased stress levels lets you truly focus on those 3 tasks you're going to do yourself. It also gives you the opportunity to find or return to great local resources to use again in the future, let alone how important it is to support local small businesses!
Remember, IT'S OK to prioritize to allow you more time for you and your loved ones this Holiday Season. No one will remember whether or not you baked them a cookie, but they will remember the afternoon on the outdoor rink, with huge fluffy snowflakes falling that you were able to spend with them because you weren't holed up in your kitchen all day.........