Isn't it a shame that the time of year that's supposed to be the happiest ends up being the most stressful or depressing? A few weeks ago, my coworker asked us what our favorite holiday was. I was tempted to say Christmas, because of course that's the typical favorite holiday, but I was instead met with feelings of dread. Our society puts impossibly high expectations on Christmas, so of course when our holiday doesn't look like a Lifetime movie, we're left feeling a little empty.
My other coworker helped to put words to my feelings when he said Christmas is his least favorite holiday. Too much pressure and financial obligation, he said. I could totally relate.
So I took to Pinterest to see what the smart people of the internet have to say about avoiding holiday stress. I present to you a round-up of the best advice I could find on the matter so that you can have the best holiday yet.
Perfect for: Long-term couples
- A couple who listens to each other, and takes into account each other’s wishes and feelings when making decisions, will have much happier holidays. Look for the parts of your partner’s point of view that make sense to you, even if you disagree.
- By discovering each other’s dreams within conflict and making compromises, a couple can release themselves from gridlock and enjoy the holiday season. Examples of holiday dreams may include having a shared family tradition, or a parent giving their child an experience they had in their own childhood.
Perfect for: New parents
- Say no to feeling like you have to keep up with everybody’s extravagant gift giving.
- Say no to feeling like you have to shower your young children (who aren’t even quite sure what is going on) with loads of presents.
- Say no to thinking that everyone’s holiday is merrier than yours. (Cuz it isn’t.)
from Head Heart Health
Perfect for: People whose heart starts racing when they're stuck in an elevator with a coworker (or suffer from other introvert-related anxiety)
- Give yourself a time limit.
- Feel comfortable and attractive rather than poured into a tight dress that makes you feel self-conscious.
- Give yourself a challenge and then go for it!
from Writes Like A Girl
Perfect for: Ladies who always appreciate a little fashion inspo
- If you’re staying home for the day, there’s really no reason to put real pants on, which means ponte pants or equally thick leggings are a total go.
- For shoes, I recommend a pair of flat boots (just in case you end up in a major game of family hide and seek).
from Penny Pinchin' Mom
Perfect for: People who are on a tight budget this Christmas
- If your budget is tight, you may want to try homemade gifts.
- Make sure that when you see a deal, that it is something you need to buy and not something you want to buy just because of the price.
- Don’t just buy gift cards for people on your list, use them to shop! When you have a gift card, you will limit what you can spend.
from right here at As One Loves
Perfect for: New couples celebrating their first holiday together
- Decide on some holiday boundaries.
- Set up a response plan for typical triggers.
- Make time for relaxation and self-care.
from MBA Sahm
"Hygge (pronounced hoo-ga) is a Danish concept that is best described as happiness, contentment, and togetherness, with a touch of nostalgia. It is where simplicity and indulgence meet and where living in the present eclipses living in the past or future. It (along with some other factors) is why the Danish are so happy."
Perfect for: Those craving a simpler holiday for once
- Lighting is a critical element for hygge and fireplaces create that perfect kind of glow.
- Playing outside provides a double dose of hygge.