Q: I’m not really feeling the “warmth of the season” this year. How do other people do it? I just want to crawl under the covers and stay home.
A: Staying home, under a big blanket, IS one way to stay warm during the holiday season, certainly. But, let’s talk about the fire in your soul, where the real heat should come from, okay? As far as how other people do it, truth be told, this time of year some folks are simply full of malarkey. No, really. They slap a smile on their face and stuff their belly full of (insert vice foods/beverages here) to keep from feeling… well, anything. Warm, hot or cold. It’s the opposite of warm. They’re actually kind of numb. November to January 1st there are an awful lot of stressful opportunities that set a person up for experiencing far more cold than cozy. Some (not-so) hot buttons? —
Family dynamics. High expectations that everything and everyone should be perfect and get along. Pssssh. Do NOT buy into the visions that your aunt or third cousin twice-removed have dancing in their heads. Make your goal peace on earth, aka grandma’s living room, and leave it at that.
Time constraints. Between shopping, parties, cooking, cleaning, etc. you can feel overwhelmed by the pressure of the clock and calendar. Make lists, prioritize (you CAN miss some parties, FYI) and ask for help. The man in the red suit does (and doesn’t feel guilty, BTW). You should, too.
Money concerns. This is a tough one. Two months out of your fiscal year you’re hit with presents, hostess gifts, additional food costs, travel expenses and plain old keeping your lights (and heat) on. There’s no magic to fixing this either. If you’re going to engage in holiday activities that empty your wallet, you have to prepare in advance by: putting money aside; making (and sticking to) budgets; and deciding who, what and where your outlay of cash will go to. You may also want to consider ways to add to your piggy bank the other 10 months of the year. Think about adding a side hustle/extra work or unloading some stuff you don’t need *cough* #giftsyougotlastyear *cough* through eBay, Poshmark or other apps and sites to sell unwanted items.
Crowds and congestion. I live in L.A. where EVERY day is oceans of bodies and vehicles, so I feel your pain. I can only offer personal experience here. When driving, I try to imagine that every single license plate is a personalized one and try to make up what it might mean. The goofier, the better. People watching is one of my favorite games in stores and I try to imagine where their items might be going once bagged at the checkout. You know, perhaps they have innovative gift ideas! Three types of digestive aids for Wacky ol’ Uncle Henry! Peace on earth, or at least the dinner table! A good laugh just might warm your holiday from the inside out.
xo – t.