Before You Do Anything Else This Holiday Season, Ask Yourself This One Question
by Kristina Wright
Photograph by Twenty20
year if feels like I’m doing too much for the holidays—and then the next year
rolls around and it seems like I’m doing even more than I did the previous
year. I’m tired before Thanksgiving weekend is even over and December looms
with gift buying and wrapping, decorating and hosting, traveling and
traditions. Instead of enjoying the holiday season, I’m looking forward to
January and a chance to breathe.
We all do too much, right? We’re moms, it’s practically a part of the job
description to do so much that it almost seems magical. But there’s nothing
magical about running on two or three hours’ sleep and packing so much into
your schedule that you barely have a moment to yourself.
you do anything else this holiday season—before you bake one more batch of
cookies or decorate one more Christmas tree or add one more acquaintance to
your ever-growing shopping list, take a moment. Breathe. Look at your lists of
to do and to buy and to bake and to decorate and ask yourself one question:
Will doing this make me happy?
know, it seems ridiculous. Of course doing all these wonderful holiday things
make you happy, right? The
thing is, each of the activities and chores we do for the holidays might make
us happy on their own, but when you add them to your list and try to cram
everything into a month … not so much. Before you agree to one more thing this
holiday season, ask yourself if doing this thing—now—will make you happy.
Holiday traditions shouldn't leave you feeling trapped into doing things you don't
enjoy or that will sap your your energy and holiday spirit
it sounds like fun to go to three holiday parties in one weekend, but will it
make you happy or will you be exhausted and cranky as Scrooge by the time
Monday rolls around?
Agreeing to bake cookies for the work party potluck might
sound easy enough, but will it make you happy to stay up until 2a.m. baking those
cookies before a long work day—or would it be easier to buy a lovely tray of
Hitting the mall the weekend before Christmas might be a crazy,
chaotic fun-filled adventure, but will it really make you happy to wait that
late to buy the gifts the kids want, only to discover the stores have sold out?
Wouldn't it maybe make you happier to order those gifts online now and be done
with your shopping?
traditions shouldn't leave you feeling trapped into doing things you don't
enjoy or that will sap your your energy and holiday spirit. Many of us—myself
included— automatically say "yes" to everything at this time of the
year in order not to sound Grinchy and, let’s face it, because we don’t want to
let anyone down. But the one we’re really letting down is ourselves.
yourself, “Will this make me happy?” you are consciously choosing to change your
own narrative for the holiday season. And putting your own self-care front and
center will make for a brighter and happier holiday for all.