We look at the calendar this time of year and it's easy to feel overwhelmed.
At the paper, we are notified of dozens of events and must-dos for the holiday season. Each one individually sounds like a lot of fun, but add them all up and you can start to feel tired before you've even gone to your first craft fair or Christmas light-up.
And these are the things we try to fit in around our Christmas shopping, baking, work commitments and more. It can become easy to see why some just pitch the whole thing and say, in grand old tradition, "Bah, humbug!"
Then, when the pre-Christmas rush is winding down — the choir and school concerts done, the light displays viewed, the tree bought and trimmed — the family obligations descend for many, fraught with trying to get the gifts all packed into the car while not forgetting any of the kids, or conversely, the turkey in the oven before the doorbell rings. So this Christmas we recommend a little sanity for the holidays, by giving yourself permission to not do everything.
You can't anyway, so just give up the expectation before you start. Hit a few highlights and save the rest for another year. You wouldn't enjoy them at warp speed and dead tired anyway.
You cannot be everywhere and everything for everyone. Accepting it is easier said than done, but it's worth the doing.
So consider, what do you want to remember from this Christmas season? To help you figure it out, think back to what you enjoyed most from Christmases past. For many it's the simple things, like sitting down with the family for a leisurely holiday meal, singing Christmas carols, or watching a favourite seasonal movie. Maybe it's going for a walk to enjoy the Christmas lights, or watching the kids play with their gifts after the unwrapping frenzy. Don't miss those precious moments because you were so busy thinking about the next thing.
There can be magic in Christmas — in a hot apple cider or hot chocolate with marshmallows as you stroll the streets of town and exchange smiles with passersby, or sit treeside and toasty warm. You just have to slow down enough to enjoy it.