So, the holidays are officially over.
Shopping, planning, shopping, planning. Cooking, shopping, planning. Doing more, more and then more.
Do the holidays really require this much work or is it that we bring this on ourselves?
Many of us, myself included, are determined to have a Hallmark/Lifetime movie kind of Christmas experience. One in which we’re creating memories that are magical and inspirational that even Santa Claus and Unicorns would be proud of.
But then there’s the aftermath left behind. The dings and dents of holiday overindulgence.
Excess, excuses and self-imposed pressure.
I admit I am guilty of all three.
For example, I rationalized and redefined cheat day regarding my consumption of food so many times that gradually it became cheat week stretching it out to cheat month with no ending date as of yet.
My thoughts about food since Thanksgiving sounded something like this:
“It’s the holidays. No worries. I’m definitely going back to the gym as soon as the holidays are over”. “I have a sweet tooth. I can’t help it. These cookies are really small…I’ll only have 1 or maybe 8. That’s not so bad, is it?”
“So, this pie has bourbon in it? And those are called Rum Ball Cookies because they really have rum in them? Ok, so a cocktail and a dessert in one??
Hmmm… There’s definitely a convenience factor here.
And is it possible to have too much cheese?”
Then there was the Credit Card Shuffle.
An excuse to overspend.
Here’s what I often thought while buying gifts this year:
“I haven’t used this credit card in a while. It should be ok. Yes, it went through! Yayy!! Sufficient funds! Wow! That’s a nice surprise 😊. I may not be able to pay it all off at the end of the month but that’s ok…it’s Christmas. Giving is good for the soul”.
True but who’s paying for all this stuff?
And in addition to over eating and overspending I confess I spent way too much time thinking about how to host Christmas Eve.
“I wonder if the meal I’m planning to serve for Christmas Eve is ok? Will I have enough food? Will it be special enough? What else can I do to make this night special? Games? What kind of games? Will my guests like the games I choose? Should I have prizes?
Or what about doing a Reenactment of The Christmas Story? Too much?”
So, how do we avoid too many holiday dings and dents that can keep us spinning and drain us emotionally, physically and even financially? The answer to that is not at all profound or new. Maybe just a reminder to:
*Keep it simple, realistic and loving. Nothing has to be perfect.
*Hold on to traditions that matter most and let everything else be optional. Be open to new ways of celebrating the holidays that fit with changing family situations.
*Do your best to stick to a budget. Gifts don’t buy happiness (well…within reason😊)
*Be kind to yourself ~ learn how to say “no”. We can’t do it all…and when we try, we’re often left with dings and dents like a car “that just drove through a hailstorm”.
Happy New Year!
M.Ed, Mental Health Counselor, Advanced Certified Hypnotherapist, Life Coach, Author of eBook, Finding Happiness Even Without a Fairy tale Childhood
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