Surviving the Holidaze
The rush is on and it’s apparent from the parking lot racers, the sour-looking faces, and the traffic that it sometimes doesn’t seem so merry.
It’s been a while since I got caught up in the frazzle dazzle of the Christmas Holiday. Like most other holidays it was a time of family, friends, fun, food, fat (tight pants). That was the good part. For the most part, it’s still about the five “F”’s; however, with no little ones to over buy for, no elaborate planning, decorating and cooking, and most of my family far away on another coast, Christmas is quiet; sometimes too quiet.
The family parties included tamale making—an assembly line of the women in the family—filling the corn masa with spiced meat or raisins and sugar, then wrapping them in the corn husk to steam until they produced a delicious accompaniment to the meal or eaten as portable snacks. There was also posole made from a handed down recipe. And good, old handmade flour tortillas—a dying art in my family.
When my children were young I engaged in the craziness of the shopping, cooking, and decorating frenzy before the holiday. Stressed out and anxious I would try to relax and have fun. All the labor and spending that went into the season left me too worn out to enjoy and reflect upon the true meaning of Christmas.
Some years the holidays were full of strife for all the reasons that a dysfunctional family unit can ignite. Happily, they are distant memories.
In my work as a coach to women who struggle with overwhelm and an out-of-control lifestyle, the holidays become the holidaze. Too much to do, not enough time, no self-care only adds to the already hyped up emotions and expectations we tend to put on ourselves. We’re frazzled and frustrated.
In my holiday series seminars we talk about how to make the Christmas season truly merry and bright. To remember that “Jesus is the reason for the season. That things will get done and it doesn’t have to be perfect. And most of all, to remember to take time out to rest, rejuvenate and reflect.
This year my bff of 60 years reminded me of our aluminum Christmas tree with the colored light wheel. If you’re over 55, you may remember. My mom prided herself on having the most stunning tree from the matching and coordinating ornaments to their perfect placement. She was pretty much like this about everything—perfection or nothing. At 91, she still enjoys decorating her beautiful home.
I know where my tendency to overdo comes from. But, this year I put half the decorations out, minimally decorated the tree and just to break it up, I put it in another room. I have a beautiful pink Christmas tree with sweet white lights from my husband; it’s in my office. We’ll spend Christmas together and hope he doesn’t get called out to work.
And, it will all be perfect.