Okay, I'm sure the panic is just starting to creep up! It is inevitable, the holidays
are here! Hanukah and Christmas parties have already started. Cards are starting
to show up in the mail. You're feeling pressured to shop, clean, organize, cook
and get all the holiday gear out and up. I know because I am feeling it too.
I started preparing and getting things done earlier this year then
ever before, because I am 50 plus years old now, and I just can't afford to
stroke out over Santa and burnt out bulbs. I also decided to downsize some of
the hoopla. Instead of unpacking all the Christmas/Hanukah Holiday stuff, I kept it
simple and put out about half the trinkets and decor. I also strung only half
the lights around the house and garden then I normally would hang. I used the
tiniest fake Christmas tree for our official tree this year. Normally I make a
huge plate of Latkes (painstaking potato pancakes), and this year I bought
them from a woman who makes them way better then I do. Also Trader Joe's Latkes are spectacular.
In our home we celebrate Hanukah and Christmas so it can get complicated. This year I did
not let that happen. A Menorah here and a Santa there, not the gazillion
items I usually put out, and the house still looks, smells, and feels like
the holidays. And I feel more rested and at ease then I have ever felt during
these hectic holiday happenings.
When I have discussed with friends, family and clients about easing it up a
bit around the holidays I usually hear the heavy hearted whine about "doing it for the kids".
Well, let me tell you, having your kids watch you spaz out about what tree to buy,
where to put it, what to put on it, hunting down the dreidel from Aunt Ida, while drowning in butter cookie dough, is not what makes them feel warm and cuddly. Do you really think they are enjoying watching you have a merry melt down? No, the kids would rather see you relaxed, communicative and well MERRY. Take a sip of that good ol' fashion...ol' fashion.
In the ol' days, we just did not have that much stuff. We had one nice dress or suit to wear.
One dressy shoe choice to put on our feet. We had one tree, one Menorah, a few candles, one wreath, one Dreidel, and a very few presents around that tree, mostly consisting
of what we actually wanted like clothing, shoes, food items and necessities. The holiday celebration of today has become so large, fast and furious it is like a heart thumping
marathon, ending with a meal that would give most people heart pains and indigestion. It just starts to feel so overwhelming and stressful it takes the "holi" and of holiday and that leaves "day", just another day of stress, strategies and desire for sleep!
This year take it easy, and don't use the kids, Martha Stewart's latest Christmas articles, or the
neighbor’s neon holiday front yard displays as a push to push you over. I always say if you push, you fall. And remember we are going into another seasonal change....Winter.
Winter will be on December 21st, 2016 so enjoy the end of fall without falling down. Clown around more, talk to more friends on the phone instead of texting, have a holiday potluck dinner instead of putting in all on your shoulders and just sit with your kids and talk about the spiritual aspect of the holidays and why they started in the first place! Put things into perspective when it comes to spending and giving. Give to a charity, epecially the homeless around the holidays. Know how fortunate you are and have gratitude for a new year to come!
Marla Stone, Ideal
Marla earned her BA in Psychology and a Master's in Social Work and is the founder of I-Deal-Lifestyle, a Self and Space Organization Service.