This post may be a tad early for the holiday season, but I heard Christmas music today and two days ago, I saw Santa at the mall. So I wanted to reach you before the frenzy swept you away. Chances are, the holiday madness doesn’t have you in its grip quite yet. And just what is The Madness? It is Everything You Must Do in order to have a great holiday. It is fulfilling grand expectations, your own or those of someone else. Does the thought of that grab you at the sternum and trickle down to your gut? Does it excite you, but at the same time hit you with a twinge of dread?
Here’s my suggestion. Change the goal from having a fabulous holiday to having a mediocre one. Mediocre holidays are much gentler on the psyche. You know the saying, what goes up must come down? The holiday mood- anticipation, excitement, chaos. It all has to come from somewhere and it has to go somewhere when it’s over! The time, money, and energy it takes to create an amazing holiday is likely siphoned out of your daily life, leading up to the festivities. Afterwards, the crash.
What if you decided not to steal from whatever it is that makes your daily life good? Your exercise routine, time with loved ones, alone time, your creative endeavor – whatever it is that keeps you sane and happy- you could guard with your life. Because every ordinary day IS your life.
Which brings me to this. Maybe you welcome the chaos. Maybe you prefer not to simplify your holidays, and you make that choice with a happy heart. If that’s the case, then I think you are amazing. I mean that. I bet you are one of those people who multitask with ease. You are probably cooking dinner and attending to your bleeding five-year old while reading this blog. All with a smile on your face and skillfully, too. That is not me. While writing, I might forget to take the pumpkin pie out of the oven. If I am deep enough in thought, I may or may not notice if the smoke alarm goes off. I really shouldn’t do two things at once. But the upside of that is, I can be really present for the one thing I am doing.
I look forward to strategically placing a few holiday decorations in my home. I love candles and clear Christmas lights and fern across my mantel. I want to be with family, with some good food and a few presents. I want to enjoy them before the holidays too, though. And after. No rushing, no stress, no frenzy, no crash. There’s something to be said for being a holiday underachiever. I’m saying no to the high of an amazing holiday season, and yes to the peace of a mediocre one.