Surviving the Holidays

Tips for Surviving the Holidays

I wanted to share a few tips that I have learned over the years to help me get through Thanksgiving and Christmas as a peaceful and sane woman.

  • Accept where you are at. Let’s face it, not every Christmas is the “Norman Rockwell Christmas” we picture in our heads.  Tragedies happen, divorce, deaths, children leaving the nest and all the reminders that go with the loss seem to appear during the holidays.  It’s ok to skip some of the “normal” traditions if you aren’t feeling up to it.  But, do find a friend to talk to, write in your journal, find a counselor or pastor to help process the feelings.  Don’t just stay busy with holiday plans and spending money to avoid dealing with what is going on in your life.
  • Remember to take some time each day to just be quiet. Play a relaxing CD in the car while you are out and about.  If we don’t take time to pray and listen to God, to fill our minds with uplifting music, we soon find ourselves spinning out of control thinking we are too busy to have a moment of quietness which truly helps to keep our focus on what is most important.
  • Stop comparing yourself to others.  Envying the neighbor or friend who appears to have it all together is a waste of time and energy.  We are all good at putting “masks” on and we really don’t know what is going on behind the “perfectly” decorated house and family.
  • Be nice to yourself.  Sometimes I have to remove myself from the situation that is stressing me out and talk to myself like I would my best friend.  After all if you can’t love yourself how can you love your neighbor as yourself?
  • Ask for help!  Sometimes as women we think we have to do it all and leave our family out of our plans for the Holidays.  Accept the help you get. Your husband may not put away the dishes exactly like you do and that’s ok! Don’t re do it, just let is go and be thankful for the help.  There are a lot of great recipes online for help with the big meals at Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Check out .  The Thanksgiving menu and directions were a huge help to me when suddenly it was my turn to do the turkey and grandma wasn’t there to coach me!
  • Sit down as a family and pick 7 things that make it Christmas at your home. Our pastor was doing a series about family and Christmas when my children were in grade school and this tip made a huge difference in my life.  Was I ever surprised to learn that our children preferred putting lights up outside our house over making the gingerbread house! I was shocked at the things I had been stressing out about every year that didn’t even matter that much to them.  So consult your family and others that are apart of your celebrations and see what they want to do.

Have a Blessed Thanksgiving and Christmas!

Christine Smart

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