Like it or not, it seems as though the holidays are upon us.
In just 10 or so days, Thanksgiving will be here and thereby catapolt us into the shopping season. Just saying that stresses me out.
Just thinking about all the things that “Mom” makes happen can be just overwhelming.
We are responsible for the holiday sparkle of fabulously prepared food, a Martha-style decorated home, homemade cookies with all the decorations, thoughtfully purchased gifts (under budget of course!) and more that I haven’t mentioned!
While I have to be honest and confess to my fair share of stress during the season, I’ve come to the point where I refuse to lose my joy over it. I can only do what I can do, in the midst of raising, feeding and clothing 8 kids still at home. My regular FULL-time mothering responsibilities don’t stop just because it’s late November.
My strategy has been in recent years to…
~Make clear and early decisions about what I’ll do and not do for the holidays.
~Give myself plenty of time to get these things done, allowing for the unknown.
My early decisions include…
*Keeping the same basic menu of recent years that include everyone’s favorites. Nothing elaborate, just good, wholesome favorites. That’s good enough, I never hear anyone complaining.
*Clean the house reasonably well…good enough. If the linens for company don’t match perfectly, that’s ok.
*Decorations may or not be complete or even present….that’s ok, I hope they are coming to see us.
*Do my shopping over a two-week grocery trip, to allow for distractions at the store and my own forgetfulness. I bought my turkey last week, actually, just to get something off the list.
*Begin to cook/bake whatever possible early. This, again, allows for error and distractions….and just downright fatigue. I’m planning to make some whole wheat rolls this week and get them in the freezer. Another thing checked off the list!
My goal is to enjoy the journey of the holiday season. Who knows if there will ever be another one? We have no guarantee of tomorrow, we must look for ways to enjoy today.
Here are just a couple of pointers to adjust your thinking when you are feeling stressed over the next two weeks…
Instead of… “I can’t believe how long this grocery line is! Why don’t they have more cashiers available?”
Re-phrase your thinking and say… “Thank you, God, that this grocery store is here, that I had a vehicle to drive to get here and money in my pocket to purchase food. Maybe I’ll pick up a magazine and leaf through it while I’m waiting”.
Instead of…“Look at all this traffic! Can’t people drive?”
Re-phrase and say…”Everyone is so busy taking care of their families, just like I am. We can all share the roads and the stores, it’s not all about me.”
Your brain tends to believe what you say, and while it may sound a bit corny, try it and see if your blood-pressure doesn’t calm down. Tell yourself that you are enjoying whatever you find yourself doing, that you love your family, thanking God for how blessed we are in this nation. It’s just a choice.
“People are just as happy as they make up their minds to be.”
~ Abraham Lincoln