So This is Christmas :: Don’t Force the Merriment

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Lights are twinkling, jolly music is playing, and all is merry and bright! Right? If you’re anything like me you absolutely love the holidays. I enjoy most things Christmas. BUT there are a few things I could certainly live without… 

fullsizerender-26Holiday party overload…

Holiday parties can be very nice and the sentiment behind them is wonderful. It becomes an issue when families overload their calendars with such events. People feel obligated simply because they receive an invite. This is not the purpose of these gatherings. Whether it be office parties, friends, or social organizations, be careful not to overload your holiday calendar with events that you sincerely don’t want to attend. For my family, we adopted a rule – we give ourselves three holiday gatherings a season. This allows us to choose only the events we really want to attend and helps us maintain a healthy amount of time to spend with our immediate family. 

Forced family time…

Let’s face it – not all families have the best relationships. Maybe you have a strained sibling relationship, a not so pleasant in-law situation or a drunken uncle (or two). The holidays can be an excellent time to mend things, but don’t force it. On occasion, I have had to ask myself, “WHY ARE YOU FORCING YOURSELF TO BE HERE?!” Now I try to consider whether this is an environment that will be healthy for me emotionally. Let’s stop spending one of the happiest days of the year being unhappy! Give yourself permission to not go around people that mistreat you or stress you out. Plainly stated – go where you are celebrated NOT just tolerated. 

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Overspending… 

This is probably one of the most common mistakes we make at Christmas time. It’s the season of giving, and we (moms) want to give our families the world. We break the bank, charge it up, (cha-ching) and even give ourselves anxiety over buying lots and lots of stuff. I have been guilty of this. I believe thinking ahead is one of the best solutions. Plan a budget if possible, and buy gifts well outside of the season. Be careful not to let commercials and holiday circulars force you to make unwise decisions about your money. When we are honest, all those wonderfully well-intentioned presents often get cast aside shortly after the holiday. I know I find toys broken or thrown into the reject pile as soon as January hits. Our family now follows the three gift rule, and we budget for each child. We also do not purchase gifts for the majority of our extended family and friends. Not because we don’t love them, but because it isn’t a financially wise decision for us. Instead, we give Christmas cards complete with our family mugshot!

Christmas is my favorite time of year, and for that reason, I am protective over it. It is up to me to decide what makes me happy and is important in this season. I refuse to let media or society tell me how to make my Christmas merry.

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What makes your Christmas merry?

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