While gearing up the for holidays today I’m offering up some Pre-Thanksgiving advice that we all need to take part of.
Let’s face it; the holidays, while beautiful, festive, delicious and fun are one thing – STRESSFUL. Whether it’s self-induced or situationally-induced, it happens. We stress about money, cleaning, decorating, cooking, baking, shopping, work, just over all getting ready. And by the time you go through the holidays and finally have a moment to actually enjoy them, it’s time to go back to work. Which also means cleaning up, putting the decorations away and facing a long, cold winter (unless you’re one of the lucky ones that live on the West Coast or some gorgeous island).
Trust me guys, I’m with you on all of that. Growing up my Mom would plan her holiday meals weeks in advance, decorate the house for days and at night, when they thought no one was paying attention, my parents would fret over money and how they could buy each of us at least one new present. When I got married I turned into my Mother – I’d plan these grandiose meals (even though it was just for the two of us), I’d have Mr. Fantabulous haul 10-12 huge Rubbermaid tubs from the attic of decorations and spend days, yes days, decorating a house that literally no one but us saw. It just had to be perfect.
While the house was gorgeous, the food delicious, what wasn’t so great was me and my attitude. I was tired, cranky and sometimes a full-fledged Scrooge. I just was so stressed. I wanted it to be perfect; I wanted everything to be perfect. But then I thought about something a few years ago. What makes a ‘perfect’ holiday season?
I used to think a perfect holiday was defined by the most amazing food, the prettiest tree, everything in it’s place but honestly that wasn’t it. I had all of those things yet I (we) were miserable. The holidays weren’t jolly or festive. I was tired. I ran myself ragged, stressing myself for what? Nothing to be honest. The holidays aren’t about perfection but rather about the memories made and who they are made with. When I sit here and think back about some of our previous holiday seasons I don’t necessarily remember the food or the festivities but rather I remember the stress and, even some of the arguments. I don’t want that and I know you guys don’t want that either. You want to remember the laughter, the joy and the love.
So what’s my pre-Thanksgiving advice then? Honestly one thing – RELAX. Stop it – stop going ‘HA! Yeah right Lori!’. Sure the holidays are busy and you’re running around but there is no reason to stress. Make a plan and if that plan doesn’t work out, so what. Honestly so what. Life isn’t about perfection; it’s about enjoying the moments. So your turkey is on the dry side – hello you can turn it into soup, pot pie and a million other dishes. And sure Creepy Uncle Bucky is coming over to eat and run but you’ll get through it.
Today, 2 days before Thanksgiving take an hour, no; take 2 hours and just do you. Yes, just do you. Take a hot bath, go see a movie, pull an Al Bundy on the couch with a big bowl of chips and a beer if you want. But just do you. Breath and exhale deeply. Let all that stress go. And take the holidays day by day. And when you feel yourself getting stressed stop for a minute and ask yourself “Is it really worth getting this worked up over that you’ll let it ruin your day/holiday?” Most of the time the answer is no.
And with that guys, once I get home from work today I’m unplugging, putting on my princess pj’s, curling up in the recliner with a big old bowl of sea salted potato chips and watching Christmas vacation because let’s face it, Cousin Eddie is the bomb! LOL