Thursday, December 11, 2008

Linda's Christmas Tip #10: Sometimes Less is More

Submitted by: LindaDuring the weekend after Thanksgiving, I pulled out all the Christmas boxes to begin my decorating. Decorating for the holidays is a bit like moving, or cleaning out your closet: It always seems to turn into a huge-overwhelming-messy job before it is all said and done. Pictured below are two pictures of my mess when I was in the middle of it.

As it turned out, I had a big burst of energy, and I ended up getting all my decorating done that weekend, and I even branched out and did a few things differently. Pictured below is my vintage postcard garland that I put on my sideboard - I love the look of it!
In my present season of life, my boys are independent and much of my time is my own. However, in past Christmases (and probably in the future), I've had seasons where I have to limit the holiday events/decorating/traditions/baking. I think we moms/wives/working women often raise the bar so high for ourselves (especially at Christmastime) that it is at the expense of our health, our sanity, our family time, and so on. Several Christmases back I was stressing myself out over my expectations to uphold certain traditions, and when I thought about it, I was the only one to whom it really mattered. So here is my tip. I hope it brings some encouragement and relieves some stress.

1. Take a look at what you're expecting yourself to accomplish in the next 15 days. Is there anything you can cut out? Is there anything you can hand off to a helper, husband or friend? Make sure that the ways you spend your time really matter. Your family probably won't notice if you take a shortcut on decorating or baking.

2. If you have a time crunch, set yourself some limits (rather than staying up too late): One year when I did my decorating, I put out what I was able to do in one day, including the tree. This helped me hustle, but also helped my put out only my most special items.

3. Think about Time-Energy-Money: Can you afford the time a project will take you? Can you hire it done? One year I hired a college student to wrap my gifts for me. That may seem like a frivolous expense, but it saved my sanity that year.

4. Just say "no"! We don't have to attend every party or event we are invited to! Don't take a 'guilt trip' if you choose not to attend an event.

Basically, let's remember that 'less is more': we can simplify and really savor the moments we have with family and friends.

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