February 21, 2018

How I Hope To Avoid Holiday Hell by Ann Van De Water

Every year around holiday time, I try really hard to do a lot of special things for my family. I bake, shop, clean, send Christmas cards, help my girls get ready for their Christmas piano recital, attend a Christmas show as a family, and participate in some charity work in the community and our church. During this time, I somehow lose my way and become a major witch with a capital B. I feel overwhelmed and unappreciated. I take it out on my family, the people I am trying to please.


This year I am going to try to avoid reaching this frazzled and furious state by meeting it head on. The best offense is a good defense, right? Sports jargon I have never used in my life now makes some sense!


1) I vow to make only 2 kinds of Christmas goodies. A few years ago, I was dieting and made only 1 batch and guess what? Everyone survived. The world still spun. And I did not gain a pound.


2) I am giving myself an early Christmas present and hiring a housecleaner right before my parents come to visit for the holidays. I am so excited about this! I get a clean house, a young woman who needs money gets some extra cash, and my family gets a less stressed me. Win, win, win.


3) I will keep spending in check by reviving a plan I have used in the past. I will spend only as much on my own kids as I do on others’ kids who actually NEED presents like warm clothes and whose toys I purchase are among the very few they have.


4) I will try to remember that Christmas celebrates the Christ child, bringing light into darkness, peace and joy to a broken world. What can I do in my own way to help bring forth this light? To create peace and joy within my family and community?


My hope is that if I at least start with this vision, I will be closer to achieving it.


Ann is a former English teacher who is now a stay-at-home Mom of 10-year-old twin girls.


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