After enjoying a delicious Thanksgiving dinner with family, the rest of my holiday weekend was spent trying to slow down as much as possible and relax. As a small business owner, my family and like to take part in Shop Small Saturday and support as many local shops as we can but we are NOT Black Friday Shoppers. We are also not "buy the tree and decorate for Christmas the day after Thanksgiving" people either. Please indulge this rant for a moment. This is something I struggle with every year — starting the holiday season before December 1st!
I suppose we have retailers and marketing people to blame for a lot of it because it's not just Christmas. Over the summer, I friend told me how frustrated she was trying to find school uniform clothing in August. When she asked an employee for help, the person replied that it was way too early to start stocking those items for school. The irony is that while she was scoffing at my friend's request, she was setting up a candy display for Halloween. In August.
So it was not surprise to me that while touring the aisles in a large craft store in September, I found 4 aisles of Christmas trees, ornaments and decor. (Picture me audibly yelling at trees and lights: "What are you doing here!?!?)
Perhaps the original intent of all this early prep was an attempt at stress relief. We feel like by getting some of these holiday to-dos over with ahead of time, then when the holiday gets here, we won't be stressed and scrambling for the last minute. Unfortunately, I think the strategy has backfired. Maybe the shopping gets all done on Black Friday but there are still many other aspects of the holidays that we allow ourselves to get stressed out by. Dinners, baking, parties, school events, fundraisers, church fairs - the list goes on and on. On Dec 1st you're all excited and inspired by the season. But two weeks in, all it takes is to think about your holiday to do list and your left with the dreaded feeling "Ugh, I just can't wait til the new year and this is over."
And isn't that just awful?! Doesn't' that feel just yucky to have that dread in your gut during a time of year that's supposed to be joyful, peaceful and reflective?!?! Yeah, me too. I wish this article and the live recap below could end with some sage advice for managing this time of year. The only thing I can offer is this:
Keep it simple.
Do what it is best for you and your family.
Forget the stuff. Spend the time.
And make lasting memories!
As we enter this holiday season, please do so with all my best with no stress!