Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Stress-free Holiday

In years past, I've tried to force myself to feel the Christmas spirit. Wrapped presents, put out some sort of decorations, sent out cards, baked. All the usual things to make it feel like a holiday. Maybe it's the constant barrage of bad economic news, the suddenly cold and wet weather or just my scrooge-like nature that's coming out, but this year, I'm just not up for it.

I will take part in the usual fare: assorted Christmas parties (but I refuse to agonize over a Dirty Santa present to end up with angel print socks), the family gift exchange (although I am not going to agonize too much over gifts and end up spending more to make it look better), Christmas cards (e-cards this year are my saving grace), and the occasional baked good (Parmesan Herb bread for the annual work pot luck).

However, I've also resigned myself to breaking bad habits. This year, I will not:
  • Be guilted into travelling 600 miles more than usual to see my cousin's great aunt's gall bladder surgery. I will be there for the important things, but I'm learning to draw the line this year.
  • Let anyone else spoil the time I am spending with my family.
  • Take things too seriously. Traditions are nice and there are some to hang on to for dear life, but not everything is a tradition. This year I'm giving myself permission to ditch the tradition.
  • Run to 500 stores to pick something up because I'm afraid to give someone something from Target. I love Target and if that's where I find your gift, that's where I'm getting it.
  • Judge my popularity, self-worth or love by how many Christmas cards I get.
  • Treat Chef as a visitor to my family, but as he truly is: my family. We are both visitors up north.

Those are my Christmas season pledges. We'll see how many I actually keep. Hopefully all of them. Every time I start to feel scrooge-like I remember that kids get 60% more toys than they expect. So the world can't be doing too badly.

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