You know you’re nearing the end of the year when the reply to almost every “how are you?” is
“So busy – I can’t believe it’s almost Christmas!” Most of us have felt the tension of wanting to
carve out peace and calm over the holidays to replenish our energy, yet feeling like we are
running headlong without a stop into December 24th , where we crash – ready or not – into the
We’d like to offer a perspective that could, perhaps, slow the running to a manageable pace so
that when you are finally taking a few days off, you can actually enjoy them – not just recover
from the frenzy leading up to your time off. We tell ourselves that lie often – “I have no
choice but to do . . . “ Truth is, we always have a choice.
Navigating a peaceful, meaningful holiday experience is all about the choosing.
When you’re pondering all the work you feel you must get done in the next few weeks, ask
yourself honestly whether that is true. Are there things you can delegate? Are there things that
can wait? Or are there even things you should take off the list because they’re ultimately not
that important? Don’t give in to the “I have to do it all” temptation. What could it look like if you
When you’re trying to “fit it all in” – parties, kids’ recitals and sports games, Christmas events,
shopping, seeing the lights, Christmas tree contest, holiday parade – you could literally run
yourself ragged 12 hours a day if you don’t give yourself permission to say NO to the things that
don’t bring you joy. Can your kids go to their favourite event with another family member
(spread the love)? You actually don’t have to attend everything you’ve been invited to. If you can
clear the clutter in your calendar by being intentional about what you really want to do, you’ll
find time to do the things that will mean something to you, and feel more relaxed the whole
When you feel you just can’t manage another demand on your time and energy, bring out the
boundaries! Be willing to say NO if it doesn’t work for you. Find creative solutions. Engage other
people. Schedule you-time that nothing is allowed to interrupt. This is a must for crazy holiday
schedules, crazy families, and crazy-making demands on you and your life.
When you feel stressed or overwhelmed, reach out to others. Nothing creates perspective about
our circumstances more than recognizing what you are grateful for and acknowledging that
many people in your community need basic things you may take for granted. Sharing your time,
your gifts, your finances, and your energy with people who might need a friendly voice or a
hand-up can reframe the stresses you feel.
Whether you love (or don’t so much love) the holidays, making wise, boundary-influenced,
values-driven decisions about how you’ll spend your time will give you an opportunity for rest,
relaxation, and even joy – amidst the chaos.
Wishing you Christmas blessings and holiday cheer,