the demise of the best-laid plans

I am taking off from writing for Friday and Saturday, so today’s post is my last opportunity to pass along some holiday wisdom.

Christmas-themed merchandise has been in stores for months, lights have been up and music playing for weeks, and tips, hints, and advice has filled the blog-o-sphere.

Soon, good people, it will be over.

Here’s the rub: it needs to happen before it passes.

For many people, Christmas is similar to a wedding: an insane amount of planning goes into it, an insane amount of money is spent on it, everyone has a role they are supposed to fill, and if everyone remembers their lines, then it will be picture-perfect.

Except this is real life, and, just like at weddings, sometimes there are people involved who we might be jollier without.

Depending on who you will be spending time with, this weekend might not be something you’re looking forward to.

If you have stressed yourself out preparing, you’re more likely to feel entitled to the day(s) going the way you want. It’s too late to change the weeks of stressing out, but you could choose to relax these last few days…

When things don’t go the way they’re supposed to (yes, when β€” how often do things all go according to plan?), take a deep breath and remember what’s important.

Is having the toddler in cute clothes more important than having the toddler happy? Will pointing out the downfalls of your teenager make him/her suddenly realize the errors of their ways? (Does it work on you?) Will criticizing your mom’s/wife’s/aunt’s roast/cookies/eggnog make it better?

Consider that all of the people around you are indeed actually people. They all have thoughts, opinions, and feelings that might not match yours. It doesn’t make them stupid (most of the time πŸ˜‰ ). Let the little stuff go.

If you can truly just remind yourself that it’s not important, your day will be happier and less stressful (as will that of those around you). If you are constantly noticing and/or pointing out things that are a problem for whatever reason, the whole day becomes negative and tedious.

There is so much touting of “the spirit of the season.” But the people we’re related to who we’re spending the most time with are the ones who are possibly the most difficult to be charitable with.

‘Tis the season πŸ™‚

Have a peaceful, joyful weekend. I’ll be back with some links on Sunday and content on Monday, by which time there will be less than a week of 2010 left. Crazy!

Merry Christmas πŸ™‚

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4 responses to this post.

  1. Very well said. I especially think this is true with children. People always talk about what type of a person the child will grow up to be w/o realizing that they already are a person right now. This time of year can be so overwhelming to a child and I think we all need to try to parent with more grace during the holidays.

    • “People always talk about what type of a person the child will grow up to be w/o realizing that they already are a person right now.”

      Yes yes yes!! We forget that kids can get stressed out, too, and they understand more than we give them credit for…

  2. exceptional article, as usually. Many people get so caught up in preparation they fail to actually enjoy these days. I’m all for having a good time and not stressing out for the perfect hollywood like holidays.

    Happy Holidays!

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