Getting Through the Season with the Right Attitude

It’s that time of year again. The bells are ringing and Christmas music wafts through your radio and the store loudspeakers. It’s fun and crazy and stressful and, well, a time of year that I always feel like I’m behind on just about everything. This year so far, I’m ahead of the game and hoping it stays that way.

I went online to look for some time saving tips for the holidays. There were all the usual ones, like marking “due dates” on your calendar, and simplifying gatherings and gift-giving. But one in particular caught my eye: prioritize. This is something we all do instinctively when we’re uber-busy. It made me stop and think about the season, though, and about what’s important. I want to slow down and enjoy this holiday season, to feel more of its magic.

So instead of time-saving tips, I offer my own version of do’s and don’ts for this Christmas season. These are only suggestions, but they are things I hope to incorporate into my December.

DON’T walk swiftly past the Santa exhibit at the mall, focused on the next store or the shopping list in your hand.
DO take a few moments to watch the scrub-faced, Sunday-best-dressed children as they meet Santa. Their reactions are varied and priceless and always bring a smile to my face.
DON’T leave things (like shopping) to the last minute—unless you thrive on stress.
DO try to find a balance between the work of Christmas and enjoying its true purpose, whatever you perceive that to be.
DO stop, take a deep breath, and smell the roses, er, evergreens, once in a while.
DON’T stare at all the last minute items stuffed around the checkout counter. Instead, wish the person behind you, in front of you, or both, a good day.
DON’T lose yourself in the season. DO take time out just for you. Personally, I suggest a bubble bath, a good book, and maybe a nice glass of wine.
DO remember to keep up with whatever exercise program you follow.
DO design a season that feeds your soul. This is the time to bank all those good feelings deep in the warm coals of your heart. That way someday, if you have a not-so-great day, you can fuel your own sense of well-being with these memories.

What else can we come up with to make this season relaxed and happy? Got any ideas? I’d love to hear them. Maybe we can cozy up to a cyber yule log with a cup o’ not-so-cyber hot buttered rum and come up with some ideas, huh?

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27 responses to “Getting Through the Season with the Right Attitude

  1. Wonderful ideas Laurie and definitely ones that are overlooked – thanks for the reminder :). I find that the holiday season reminds me to be more generous. So whether it’s stuffing a little extra cash or coin in the Salvation Army pots or buying a small toy or gift while out shopping to leave in a Toy Drive, that makes me the most happy during this season. Its amazing the smile you can bring to someone else’s face just by taking a few moments to do something for a stranger and making the holiday season a little extra special for them.

  2. I actually think about the Christmas season all year long. Mainly because I can’t afford to do ALL the shopping the end of November. So I’m always ahead of the game. I take advantage of road trips, to pick up gifts from other places other than the local Mall. I have a special place to put these items so they are ready to wrap for the intended person. I have one package that needs to go to England before Christmas~*It was mailed last week…long before the last minute rush.
    Your suggestions are wonderful…you gave me some new ideas! Merry Christmas & Happy New Year.

    • I wish I could be as organized as you, Linda. Wow. Well done on already getting the package off to England! Thinking about that Christmas list all year long is a great idea. You’re right. It can get a little spendy in December. 🙂

  3. I love the idea of picking up items as you travel throughout the year. I may have to steal that one!

  4. After many years of the stress of Christmas, my family agreed no presents except for the under 10s and lately, because my husband doesn’t like Christmas whatsoever, we have a very laid back one, with every year Mum inviting herself to us for a few days to get away from all the fuss. We don’t decorate apart from a tree (my insistence), we don’t do the turkey dinner or crackers or such but I do love to listen to the carol and miss the children’s nativity plays at school, always good for a tear or two. It might not be everyone’s idea of a Christmas but the family prefer it, are far more relaxed and totally enjoy the company without the frills instead.

    • I don’t decorate as much as I used to. I am loving this conversation because I’m getting these glimpses of everyone’s Christmas. It’s lovely! Relaxing and taking the pressure off is a very nice way to celebrate. Kit!

  5. Our family has always been big on Christmas. Decorations, for many years lots of baking, gift giving. Slowly we have been doing less and enjoying what we do all the more. And, like Linda I used to shop all year. Last year for the first time the adults drew names. And, were surprised how well that worked. This year we are going to CanCun. Leaving early Christmas Eve morning and coming back late New Years Eve. We’re having an early Christmas the 16th for the kids but no adult exchange.

    I love the list of Do’s and Don’ts. They are all good but my favorite is

    🙂 DO design a season that feeds your soul. This is the time to bank all those good feelings deep in the warm coals of your heart. That way someday, if you have a not-so-great day, you can fuel your own sense of well-being with these memories.

  6. Loved your suggestions, especially the Santa one. I’ll remember that each time I see Santa this year. Have a wonderful holiday season!!

  7. We don’t do a lot of gift-giving between the adults, esp.(Kids get more, sure…lots!) But what I do, even for the kids, is buy things when I see what is interesting or perfect and put it away until Christmas.It’s worked well for me. What I have to do is put the decorations up a little sooner.I have been putting the all-Christmas station on when I’m in the car. I’m working on the season…I hope all of you have a great time throughout the season.

    • We do like you, Tonette. We give to the little kids. And I’ve also got the all-Christmas station on in the car and a bit at home, although I’m trying very hard not to drive my husband nuts with it. He’s got a touch of the bah humbug. lol

  8. I love the decorating but not the shopping so much. I have part of my decorating done but waiting for the two youngest grand kids to put up the nutcrackers. FUN!!!!

  9. Darn I have no secrets

  10. What a lovely reminder that it is the time and the happiness of the moment that really is meaningful at this time of year. Thank you, Laurie!

  11. That is so sweet. Thank you Laurie

  12. Great suggestions, Laurie. I love the idea of stopping to look at the expressions on childrens’ faces as they visit Santa and the one to design the season that feeds your soul. In the rush of the to-do list, the real magic of Christmas can get forgotten.

    • I agree and am trying SO hard to rekindle that magic in myself this year. So far, so good. I’ve got fun stuff scheduled and I refuse to feel guilty if I don’t get quite enough writing done. 🙂

  13. Pingback: Modeling Dos and Don’ts « Walking in the Shadows

  14. Lots of great ideas, Laurie. I’m a little sad this season but am trying to get all the stressful stuff done first which would be the shopping. I’m not a big fan of shopping. On line and local boutiques (as well as my fav place- Pensacola Hardware) get a lot of my business.

    • I’m not a huge shopper, either. I’ve done more online this year than in the past, but it was easier to browse, ESPECIALLY for toys. I get confused and disoriented in ToysRUs. Too much to look at. lol

  15. Valerie J. Patterson

    I am not a shopper. I’d rather someone smack me than make me go shopping! However, Christmas shopping is something I enjoy. It’s making a list of people and going out and finding something that suits them, compliments them, or would be an extravagance for them that makes it so enjoyable. I used to get my Christmas shopping done in September. These past few years, it has been the week before Christmas before I was finished. Hoping to be finished this weekend. Thanks for the tips, Laurie. We all need to slow down and be kinder and gentler to strangers. 😛

    • In a way, I agree with you, Valerie. I hate clothes shopping. Ugh! But shopping for others is fun!
      I wonder how everyone’s doing. I’m shopped, but not wrapped. Cards are sent out, well, all but one. House is decorated. And I haven’t even STARTED baking yet, but there’s time. All in all, this is a season I will remember fondly for a long time. I’ve NEVER been this ahead of schedule.

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