While there is a special magic that comes with the holidays, there can is also stress, loneliness and the wintertime blues that often lurk around like the Grinch trying to steal your Christmas every chance he gets. To help you keep the magic of Christmas alive on the inside and out this season.  To keep all thing merry and bright for the holidays, here are my…

12 Tips of Christmas Sanity:

1.     Keep it Tight
Figure out who and what are most important to you and put your attention there. What is most important to you in your life? Once you determine what that is, make these people and things your priority, and let the other things fall in line behind  your true priority.

2. Pick Five to Thrive
The “to do” list is a mile long – Shocker!, OK, let’s get this hard reality out of the way now, you will never get to all of them in a day, and it’s highly likely that come Christmas Day there will still be things left undone. So rather than staring at this monumental task list over your third cup of coffee until you’re too geeked up to think straight, pick your top five items on the list. Now make these your focus for the day, and put the big list out of sight. Amazing, but tried and true – cutting the list down into something that is humanly possible to accomplish is one of the best ways to increase your productivity. And if you have time after you complete these five, great – knock out a more. The next morning – rinse and repeat.

3. Treat Yourself
Take time out for you. As counter-intuitive as it may seem, this is truth people. In order to make it through the holiday season with aplomb, be sure make time for yourself. Luxuriate in a quiet bath, schedule a mani/pedi, take a walk, hit the treadmill for 20, take in a game, enjoy a decadent dessert – the point is to do what you want, something that makes you fell good for a predetermined time.  Taking this time help to keep you centered and in a place where you are better prepared to handle those trying moments when you need a little Christmas magic to get through – you know like  the moment when you’re about to lose all composure and serve someone the bird, and I don’t mean turkey. Trust me – this is key.

4. Disconnect to Reconnect
Be it baking with the kids (building gingerbread houses or decorating cookies) spending a quiet evening with your love, enjoying a long-standing family tradition or creating new ones, playing board games with the fam, helping your parents with their preparations or signing up to wrap presents with your folks from church or a local civic group, put the cell phone and iPad away and enjoy good old fashioned in person fun and conversation. Reminder: These are the moments that make the special memories.

5. Create a Holiday Happenings and Happiness Blueprint
As an event planner, we virtually live days in the future long before they come to pass – walking through events in our minds from start to finish, determining who and what we need, and when and we need it to create just the right touch and to ensure a smooth event. A similar concept has proven to be very beneficial in my private life as well. Spending a little time in the quiet before the dashing and dancing begins, make a holiday list, and check it twice. Personally, I like to write notes out on a calendar for an easy “at a glance” way to stay on track, but choose whatever format works best for you. Include your commitments and be sure to account for the “me time” (refer to NO. 3 above), any gifts you need to take along with you, holiday meals (when, where, what you’re responsible for, what can be made ahead of time, and attach a shopping list), time to wrap gifts, cook, etc. (the actual prep time you need to make it all happen), and even line out attire which can be a big stress on the evening of (anyone feel me, ladies?) when you may likely be tight on time. Writing these things out at the start can really save you time and stress and help you to avoid a mid-holiday meltdown.

6. Spend Time with a Favorite Furry Friend
Even a few minutes spent in the company of a favorite furbaby can be a real stress-buster. A little play or a good cuddle can really melt away stress or put a rough day in the rearview. They can do this in mere minutes, without saying a word, just by being who they are  – our furry friends have a kind of magical power in this way.

7. To Thine Own Self Be True
Don’t allow yourself to become a victim of “what you should do”, but rather honor your authentic self. Celebrate in a way that genuinely fills your heart and the hearts of your family with the joy of the season. If feel strongly that you want to keep the holidays low-key and intimate this year, foregoing all the parties to slow down and spend quality time with your inner circle – then by all means, to thine own self be true.

8. Don’t Over-Commit.
The holiday season is a time notorious for taxing the even the most zealous of persons. While it’s a lovely thought to be able to spend time with everyone we care about and enjoy over the holidays, more often than not it simple isn’t feasible. But with hopes of Christmas magic on our side, we over-commit, rushing here and there trying to please everyone, often more focused on checking off all gathering and stops, stressed as we race against the clock. This truthfully isn’t fair to anyone – the season is just a blur of stress and you feel guilty about not spending enough time with anyone, and no one really gets to enjoy your best. Better to decline some invitations and ask friends to get together after the holidays to enjoy quality time together.

9. Be Present
When you make a commitment to someone or something, fully give your time, talent and attention to them/it. Don’t take other calls or constantly be texting with others people while you are to be spending time with the person in front of you or working on a project.

10. Consciously Count Your Blessings
I don’t mean to sound trite, but this is important. Create a habit to begin each day by saying at least three things you are thankful for. It helps put things in perspective, remind us of all that we do have, and studies have proven that people who follow this practice are generally happier people overall.

11. Let it Go
So you didn’t get around to hand-making personalized gift tags for every present under the tree or folding houseguest’s towels into tiny little reindeer – let it go. I repeat: Let. It. Go. If you don’t broadcast it, no one’s even going to know what wasn’t checked off your grand list. Heck, most won’t couldn’t recall two days later half of the details of what actual did exist. But what people will remember is how you made them feel when you were together. The important thing to remember that people want to spend time quality time with you. Don’t sweat the small stuff

12. Not All Things are Equal
Statistics show that one fourth of the U.S. population suffers from depression during the holiday season, that is 1 in 4 people. While this is unfortunate news, the good that we can take away from it is this- the realization that so many people suffer from this depression will hopefully bring some sort of comfort knowing that you are not alone in this feeling. And this feeling

For some reason, it seems like a lot of break-ups happen around the holidays (ever heard the term Turkey Dump?) and the ache in our heart for loved ones who left us far too soon can at times overtake even the happiest of us.  At a time when there’s such a focus on togetherness and celebration, it makes perfect sense how loss and loneliness can be overwhelming at this time for the year. For anyone apart in any way from a significant other or loved ones, this can pour salt in very fresh wounds.  While there’s no “quick tip” to fix this one, I can offer what helps and guides me, and hope that that it may bring you some solace during tough moments.

  • If you feel alone –well, you are not alone.
  • Realize that the holidays may not bring about the merriment and joy for everyone you know as it does for you and your family. And while it is fine to spread good cheer, do careful not to come on too strong, forcing your feelings on everyone you meet.
  • When my heart ache for loved ones lost to consuming levels, I don’t fight it. When in an appropriate place, I embrace my feelings, and am somehow thankful for them – for they remind me of just how much and true I have loved and been loved, and of the great blessing and power in relationships. Then, I think back to special times shared (and yes, often through tears-stained eyes), lessons learned from the special someone, and send up love and thanks for having been blessed to have had them in my life….even if wasn’t nearly long enough.
  • Open my heart and home to those who may not have loved ones nearby during the holidays. I am thankful for a family who has always had an open door and open arms for friends who weren’t able to be with their loved ones for the holidays. Knowing that you can be such a blessing to someone else is a wonderful feeling, and we were blessed in return. And adding in a new flavor to the ix can be a really good thing for all.
  • And if would prefer to skip December altogether, if all the merriment and holiday hoopla makes you want to hurl mistletoe at everyone you meet, then I offer this: Find your kind.  Being in the company of others who understand your feelings is often enough to begin to lift our spirits.

I hope these tips are helpful, and that even one of them can help to make your season a little brighter. Do you have other tips that help you get through? Please tell us in a comment below.

Oh and ’tis the season of caring and sharing, so we’d love it if you would share news of us, our posts and services with your friends!

 

Happy Holidays,

Signature Tanja & Co. Events