One week, people. Showtime is in 7 days. Flip those numbers on the quaint “days until Christmas” display because I’m sure they are still stuck on 22. Check the to-do lists. Make sure the pets and kids are still alive. Pour another cup of coffee and let’s end this holiday season feeling great. How in the world can we survive the last-minute rush of the holidays? Here are some ideas that work for me.
1. Don’t expect perfection.
No matter how much we plan, there will be some surprises in December. Anything from sickness, to late deliveries, to midnight runs to Dollar General for sugar for the bake sale cookies will happen. You can make all the lists and summon all the troops in the family, and you will still encounter something that might throw you off the trail to Holiday Holy Grail. Be flexible. Try to keep the end game in mind. Don’t let minor derailments cause family drama. There will be plenty of MAJOR derailments to stoke that family drama fire. Forgetting the add orange zest to Gingerbread is not a reason to panic.
2. Stick to the basics.
What this means is stick to your routine that has worked for first 11 months of the year. Hydrate. Get good sleep. Eat well during the week and relax on the weekends. Spend family time doing nothing together but watching mindless Christmas cartoons. Don’t work in your family routines into the holiday activities. Do the opposite. Fill your Christmas calendar with things that work into your already-healthy family activities.
3. Negative, Ghost Rider
If there was ever a time to practice your “no” voice, this is it. We are asked, “voluntOLD”, assigned, added to, included in, a lot of fun activities during these few weeks. Invitations to events might pile up along with the Facebook group auto-adds to groups and events. You can’t do them all so get ready to freely, without guilt, say “no thank you”.
Be intentional in your family schedule when you plan things for them. There are way too many cute Pinterest-worthy activities out there but you don’t have to do them ALL. Trust me, every few years, it’s fun to put away some traditions and try something new. Be picky this year and leave some things for next year.
With these 3 rules, you can come out on the other side of Holiday Hell with all your nerves in tact. Happy Fa La La La!