Hi there! We are just a few days from Christmas and this time of year has become a mixture of enjoyment and hectic emotions for many.
Here are 5 ways to make this season a little slower for you and the family.
Give experiences, not gifts. We implemented this in my family many years ago and it has made a huge difference. Every year, the men choose a weekend and the women choose a weekend. Last year the men went salmon fishing in Oregon while the girls went to Vancouver to explore. It doesn’t always have to be that big of a trip. My sister now has a baby, so we plan spa days instead. Now, instead of little materialistic gifts we have a weekend each year to look forward to spending time with the family after the holidays are over. Win, win.
2. Schedule downtime for a holiday story or movie. This guarantees an hour or two that is dedicated to the family. You all can vote on which movie or story to read. Everyone needs to put it in their calendars, have an alarm and be there to participate. Heat up a chocolate treat or popcorn to make the event memorable and fun.
3. Get in the kitchen together or alone. Whether you have holiday baking to do for a work, school or festive gathering. Get the kids, partner, spouse in the kitchen to help make the appetizer, dish or dessert with you. Some our greatest family memories are in the kitchen creating new dishes, smells filling the house and music playing in the background. Gather the neighborhood kids to decorate gingerbread houses, at the very least. We make pasta in my Italian family and it feels so good to pass down my grandparents recipe.
If that feels like too much to you, notice that maybe it is solo baking or cooking afternoon that you really need. Pour a glass of wine and play some tunes to relax into the holiday season.
4. Go see the lights. This can be a holiday mood-boosting experience. Seeing the festive lights is especially fun when you have little ones, but everyone can benefit from seeing the wonders of the season brought to homes with lights and decorations. Local places can be found online and in your local newspaper. You can have your car ready with hot cocoa and blankets (I always appreciate them when we have the car window open to see the lights).
5. Plan ahead and know when to say “NO”. Are you traveling for the holidays? Haven’t finished purchasing gifts? Feeling the pressure in the last few weeks of the season? Plan as far ahead as possible. Start packing now, even if its just organizing your outfits and making sure you have all your toiletries ready for the trip. Need to buy more gifts? Remember #1 in this post, experiences will never be forgotten. What coupon/tickets or event can you give for an upcoming month that takes the pressure off going into yet another store this week? If not, is there a local store that makes homemade gifts. Giving something local gifts gives to more than the receiver.
Are you at your wits-end? Know when to say, “NO” and protect your time and energy. The holidays can be hectic, but you hold the power to say, “NO” before you reach your max. Appreciate the responsibility of self-care, your mind and body will thank you for it.
Happy holidays from Farmacy Nutrition!