Timing is everything. I met a colleague at a favorite restaurant/bakery yesterday (The Black Forest, if you’re in southern New Hampshire).
Spot on with month’s newsletter article, she puts down her pocketbook and comments about accepting her limits.
I felt proud for her and she seemed comfortable with her decision to try to let go of something. What she meant was that she wanted to buy baked goods this year instead of making quite so much.
Change something, just one thing, this holiday season.
Here are some ideas to get you started. This is for a more joyous and simpler holiday season.
Ask older children to your sous-chef staff at holiday meals.
Pass along responsibility for one holiday dinner – or make the decision that this year is your last year to host all of them. Choose one.
Acknowledge that because you work more hours this year, you may need to give up making everything from scratch. Order from a favorite bakery instead.
Ask people to bring small parts of the meal. Appetizers and drinks for example, so that you can keep control over the core meal.
Spread out travel over more days or fewer – whichever makes it simpler for you. Ask for what you need.
Retire long standing traditions which people seem less enthusiastic about each year that passes.
Have an open house instead of a big, sit down meal. Or have people bring the appetizers to the open house!
Take off a half-day from work to get yourself ready the day before. Or a half-day off after all the celebrations to get balance back, reset the house, etc. Or at least take one hour if a half day is impossible.
Budget: limit yourself. Figure it out now, so you have some sense of what you can spend. Avoid holiday hangovers.
Grocery shop on a weekday if you are traveling lots of weekends, instead of trying to force fit the time. Do it for the holidays and then switch back.
Which parts of your holiday season are obligatory? The ones you haven’t questioned. How could you creatively honor the tradition, but with less work, less time or less of whatever part is the obligatory part? You’re probably not the only one wondering about this one in your family.
If you add a new tradition, which older one could you drop OR make smaller somehow. Instead of making all of the desserts, could you make fewer? Ask for help and pass on the family secrets this way?