Six Tips For Surviving the “Holidaze”
(FeatureSource)-It’s that time of year again: the kids are driving you crazy about the toys they “just can’t live without,” lines at the mall are only getting longer, holiday greeting cards need to be filled out, food and other preparations made… All this on top of the regular housecleaning, daily meals, and piles of laundry! It’s enough to make any wife and mother start to feel desperate.
Before you find yourself turning into one of the “Desperate Housewives” from the TV show, Sherri Caldwell and Vicki Todd, authors of the book “The Rebel Housewife Rules” (Conari Press, September 2004), offer advice on how to handle the holiday season:
1. The Biggest Mom Myth—and how to get over it:
You are NOT Wonder Woman. You are wonderful, but you still can’t do it all. Your children will never appreciate everything you do, unless and until they have children of their own someday. Only then will they ever think (maybe) to say “Thank You.” (Why didn’t our mothers ever tell us this?)
With love and enough no-cost, no-stress time together to enjoy the simple pleasures of the holidays, your children will have many happy memories to treasure. You don’t have to kill yourself trying to make special memories--they just happen.
Here’s your three-step recovery program:
1. Do the best you can.
2. Get over the guilt.
3. Enjoy life as it is!
2. Things to do: get organized!
This is the only homework assignment, we promise: Get out a piece of paper and a pencil. Sit down and brainstorm your To Do list—everything you have to do: people to see, places to go, gifts to purchase, details to remember… but don’t take more than 5 – 10 minutes.
Now that you’ve got your list, here’s what to do:
Fold “To Do” list in half.|
Rip list in two.|
Throw away the bottom half.|
You’re never going to get to all of that stuff.
You wrote down all the important things first anyway.
Get over it and have some fun!
3. Sure-fire Strategy: What to do with those children:
Two letters can save everybody’s sanity while you are going out of your mind with preparations: TV! It’s okay. In fact, it’s the only time of year the stations play wholesome, family Holiday Classics just about 24 hours a day: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town, and Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
Give yourself and the kids a break -- turn on the TV. Better yet, pop a bag of popcorn and watch with them for some holiday quality time. (Multi-task if you MUST: Write out and address cards while you watch. The kids can help by putting stamps on!)
4. Amazing Secret: When everyone else goes to the mall...
Go online for all your holiday shopping needs. Start early. You can do it. Online, you’ll find better prices, better selection, easy comparison-shopping, and you’ll only pay shipping if you don’t try—or procrastinate too long! Search engines do all the running; recommendations and reviews on any product are just a few clicks away. Coupons, rebates and special discounts are plentiful.
5. Tried-and-True – how to cope:
Two little words, and a hyphen: self-indulgence. You are taking care of everybody and everything else. Take some time out every day to take care of yourself, too. Whatever it takes—a walk, a haircut, exercise, time with a friend, some good eggnog (add enough brandy, and any store-brand eggnog will do!), a bubble bath, a few minutes with a good book—lock the bathroom door, if you have to! Just get a few minutes to yourself, for yourself. Everyday. Promise. It will make all the difference, for everyone.
6. Can’t Miss - The Season’s best gifts:
What could be better than a happy, healthy, stress-free (as much as possible) Mom/Honey?! Take it easy. The best gifts are not top-of-the-line gadgets, the trend-of-the-year toy, or outrageously expensive. The best gifts are ones that are selected with care. Small, personal gifts: candles, soaps, lotions, gourmet candy or specialty foods. Give something that person will truly enjoy and appreciate. It takes a little more thought, but a lot less money.
Remember: It is not possible to create perfect holiday memories. Relax, take a sip of eggnog, accept what you can do, and do what you can to make it easier. Being less stressed will make it possible for you and your family to enjoy and remember more of the happiness that comes with the holidays.
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