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Now that the jolly holiday season is upon us, are you worried about all you need to pack in to the next few days? Like many of us, you might be trying to be too perfect. Here are some last-minute ideas for making each holiday minute last.

  1. Make a list of what’s on your mind. If making a list is good enough for Santa, it’s a good idea for you, too. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, write down all the things that are on your plate right now. Don’t worry if the list goes on and on… keep writing till you’ve got it all. Then take a look. What can be put off until after the first of the year? What can you decide to eliminate altogether? What is really essential and fits with what you really want to do? Making a list will help you see that not everything is equally important.
  2. Find the fun. If everything seems like work, insert some fun… and remember that fun can seem like doing nothing at all. Go for a walk or a drive to look at holiday lights. Sing carols. Make hot chocolate and top it with whipped cream and sprinkles. If you’re lucky enough to have some snow, get out and play! Fun is where the good memories are. Make some!
  3. Slow down. Really notice what’s happening by slowing down long enough to look and listen. Watch your children’s eyes light up. Hear them when they chatter excitedly. Remember what it’s like to be a kid at Christmas and take the time to see that in your own children.
  4. Delicious doesn’t have to be fancy. Now is the time for comfort food that’s easy to make and everyone’s favorite. Save the new recipes and strange ingredients for another day. Right now, be nice to yourself and your family by enjoying meals that are stress-free and comforting.
  5. Stop spending. The impulse to be perfect sometimes makes us continue to buy long past the time we should stop. Realize that things don’t make children happy; happiness makes children happy. It won’t make your kids happy if you’re worried about how much you spent, if you’re hiding receipts from your partner, or even if the pile of presents reaches to the ceiling.

“Christmas comes but once a year,” the saying goes, but that doesn’t mean you should cram every possible holiday opportunity into a single month, a single week or a single day.

“Keep Christmas in your heart the whole year long” is another saying and now is the time to recall that the love we want to share this holiday season can continue to be shared every day on into the future. There really is no hurry.

So slow down. Enjoy yourself and enjoy your family. Don’t rush right through the holiday and out the other side like a freight train through a tunnel. Take the time it takes to have a lovely holiday time.


© 2014, Patricia Nan Anderson. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Look for free downloads on Dr. Anderson’s website at