Brittany's Guide to Surviving the Holidays

Hello, lovely people of the internet!

We are officially in full swing of CHRISTMAS/THE HOLIDAY SEASON!

It's the most wonderful time of the year...right?

Kind of.

Some magical things happen at Christmas. But, at least in America, we have rejected the idea of Christmas spirit and instead believe in forced Christmas perfection. Therefore, the holiday season can also make you hate your family and pull your hair out.

Just me? 

Liars, I've read the Facebook and message board complaints! IT'S MOST OF US, at one point or another.

So I lovingly and gracefully bring you BRITTANY'S GUIDE TO SURVIVING THE HOLIDAYS.

You're welcome, folks.

  • Shop EARLY
    •  Okay, I realize we are week into December already so this one may have passed you by already. But my goal is usually December 1st for having purchased all my Christmas presents. It doesn't happen, but I knock about 80% of it out by that point. This can be the most stressful part for me, which is exactly why I do it early. For one, it is better for my budget because I buy gifts mostly one month and then pay for the gas/food/etc of actual holiday celebrations the next month. Also, it means that the biggest stress is out of the way and I can actually enjoy the holiday season's parties/get-togethers/events. Bonus- I avoid the worst of the crowds. I can make time to wrap presents by my pretty tree with hot chocolate and Netflix binging in December way easier than I can make hours to drag my toddler around a crowded mall.

  • Schedule It
    • The great and awful thing about my husband's job is that he does not get the option of taking holidays off, ever. If he's scheduled, he works, the end. However, he knows that schedule way in advance. So in November I went ahead, took the plunge, and said "He's working on Christmas, these are our available dates, when do you want us to show up?"  Everyone has time to accept that we won't be there on the day (but really, who cares, not me) and gets over their crying by the time the holiday actually rolls around. Yay, enjoyed family time not clouded by grumpiness!

  • Actively choose something NOT to do
    • There's so many Christmas activities. So. damn. many. And once you have a kid it's even more intense. Choose something you are NOT going to do. 
    • For me, I don't drive my two year old to large lighting events to stand for hours in the cold. We will do a Christmas Light Scavenger Hunt from the warm comfort of our car, with hot chocolates in our thermos, sure. But no fighting hundreds of other people and paying money for a monstrous display.
    • One of my friends doesn't do Christmas cards. That's fine- personally, I love sending and receiving Christmas cards. But she doesn't, so she opts out.

  • Booze
    • I'm not advocating drunkenness as a lifestyle or even an option for every person. But holidays got a hell of a lot easier once I turned 21. Just sayin'. 

  • Decide what you want your holiday to be about. Stick to your guns.
    • I hear people complain all the time that Christmas just isn't like it used to be, it's too commercial, etc.  I have a family member who was bummed last year that things weren't as family-centered as they used to be. Well one, it's a lot easier when you are 6 versus most things in life. But I wanted to say "Your family is RIGHT THERE. GO MAKE IT ABOUT YOUR TIME TOGETHER INSTEAD OF WHINING." 
    • I want my Christmas to be about spreading the love of Christ. I've always celebrated Christmas as His birthday, so I want to this season to be an extra push to be more like Him. I will give gifts out of love, not obligation. I will focus on spending time with family, not on perfectly wrapped presents. I will focus on being generous to those around me when I take part of community events rather than being annoyed at people bumping into me because we're in an extremely crowded area.

What is your guide to getting through the holiday season?

1 comment

  1. This is the first year in 15 that I didn't do Christmas cards and I have to say while I thought I loved doing them and couldn't give it up, I see now that I can.

    I'm all about simplifying and not overbuying.