Thursday, December 22, 2016

3 Keys Thursday: 3 Keys to Managing the Holiday Countdown

Dodgerton Skillhause via Morguefile
Three days until Christmas. Ready or not, here it comes!

I'm not ready, but I'm also not stressed. Of course, it helps to stay in the house and away from the traffic and panic going on "out there."

If I sound calmer than I did yesterday, it's because my grades are done, placing the fall semester behind me. And today, I checked a few Christmas things off my list.

Maybe I'm less stressed because now that all three of us are back in the same house, the most important part of Christmas is already taken care of. Maybe, after surviving four fall semesters, I've finally got this crazy, last minute stuff figured out.

Or maybe I'm living happily in denial.

In any event, Christmas will be here in three days. I can enjoy the process, or I can make myself a nervous wreck. Here's how I plan to do the former:


Prioritize. Last week, I wrote about my priorities. None of them was directly related to Christmas, but each of them was something that had to be done prior to Christmas. Now, I'm ready to move on to the B list -- the things that must be done in the next two days. Behind the B list, there's a C list -- the things I'd like to do, but have accepted I might not get to. With three days to Christmas, there is no D list -- anything that far down the list has long since been jettisoned, along with the guilt that accompanies its removal.

Don't take on other people's stress. These items would be the E list. My husband, for example, loves to take on"necessary" household tasks right before the holidays. He'll deny this, and when he does, I'll remind him of the wall he decided to dispense with a week before a Christmas open house we were hosting about twenty years ago. (I might not remember yesterday, but I remember when walls disappear). When I suggest that some of these things can keep until after Christmas, I get nowhere. I can either take on the additional tasks (and stress) or I can pitch in as I'm able while staying focused on my own lists. Since I'm perfectly capable of stressing myself out without any outside assistance, I prefer not to outsource.

Don't forget to have fun. A sense of humor is probably the most important thing to keep in your pre-Christmas toolkit. As time ticks away, so do patience and energy, and it's all too easy to take the merry out of Christmas. Nurture that sense of humor by remembering to sit down and take a break occasionally, even if you can only squeeze in a few minutes of downtime. There's no thing so important that it's worth all of your time and energy.

Regardless of what you celebrate, how you celebrate it, or with whom, I wish you a season of relaxation and celebration.

And, of course, STYLE.

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