By Guest Blogger Sandra Kanowitz
Yes, they are coming-the holidays. I always greet this time of year with a mixture of delight and dread. I love the fall season, with the cooler temperatures and glorious color. I have put my garden to bed and now have more time available. My nesting instincts have kicked in along with a more robust appetite, unfortunate for my waistline and half of the clothes in my closet. I am already fretting about who will do Thanksgiving, and will it fall on my shoulders. I love the holidays, but find myself increasingly unable to meet the many demands they present. Giving up old traditions, like setting the perfect table, having the house decorated and spotless, and greeting everyone with a smile and serenity is so hard for me. So I must make a game plan to survive the merriment and chaos that will soon ensue. Please borrow some of these ideas to bring more joy and less angst to your holiday season:
- Start now planning your activities. Make a categorized task list, such as house preparation/decoration, meal prep, gift giving, social events, and family activities. List a task a day in logical order on your calendar so the work is spread out and more manageable.
- Consider and discuss with others ways you can simplify, scale back, change-up, and rethink how you do the holidays. Less can be just as beautiful, more elegant, less cluttered, and relief from the sensory overload an “over the top” holiday can present.
- Set the mood with lighting (fireplace, candles), music, seasonal scents and colors, and fewer decorations for which you must search, unbox, set up, dust, and later put away.
- Use technology to your advantage. Order groceries online (check out King Soopers’ Clicklist service) or have them delivered (Amazon Prime, Whole Foods, Door-to-Door)*. Shop online for gifts and party supplies. Have packages picked up by ordering online at USPS.com, UPS.com)*. Put your to-do list and set reminders on your smart phone. Put household lights on timers. Send holiday e-cards, many of which are free online.
- Take turns with someone shopping and sharing large quantity items from warehouse stores.
- Try new conveniences like partially prepared meals from local businesses or delivered meal kits (Hello Fresh, Blue Apron, Sun Basket)*. Order in from restaurants that deliver. Eat all those goodies you have stashed away in your freezer instead of cooking.
- Give to the less fortunate and donate items, volunteer at a food bank, hospital or soup kitchen. This will keep your mind off your own aches and pains, and alter your perspective of “unlucky”.
- Nurture yourself by eating well, resting when needed, getting a massage, treating yourself in whatever way helps relieve stress.
- Just say “no” if demands get out of control. You can politely decline requests by saying “Oh, I wish I could, but my health puts limitations on my energy and activities.”
First and foremost, focus on the true meaning of the holiday and less on the commercial aspects. Lastly, savor the beauty, love, traditions, music, camaraderie and joy of the season, and revel in the time you spend with family and friends.