The holidays are hands-down my favorite time of the year. I will take a snowy December day over a hot and sunny July day anytime. The only problem? It can all be sooo overwhelming.
For my family, it feels like the holidays start in mid-October with my daughter's birthday, because after that is Halloween, followed closely by my husband's birthday, Thanksgiving, my other daughter's mid-December birthday, Christmas, and the New Year. It's a wonderful and happy time, but an incredibly busy time.
So - how does one keep their head straight between all of the parties, gift-making, food baking, decorating, extra Etsy sales, traveling, etc.? Well besides planning well in advance, I didn't really know until this past weekend.
I won't say it was a near-death experience, because if we had crashed we probably wouldn't have died. We were driving home from Thanksgiving weekend, and it had unexpectedly snowed the night before. We have to travel through over 30 miles of country road before we get to the highway - and when I say country roads, I mean open crop fields that stretch infinitely on either side, with 10' deep ditches on either side of the road. The roads get nasty out there.
Some ... person ... (and I'm not using the language I'd like to right now) driving on a road perpendicular to us on our left, blew through their stop sign, turning left right in front of us. In good weather, we might have been able to slam on our brakes, but on snowy, icy roads? No chance. They lost control and slid into the left lane. We tried to miss them, lost control, and spun out all over the road - first toward the ditch on the right, then towards the ditch on the left. After what felt like forever, we regained control of our car, and kept on driving.
My daughters were in the back seat, completely unaware. I still think we would have been okay if we went off the road... but I can't help but think what would have happened if a car had been coming from the opposite direction. It wouldn't have been pretty.
So - how does this fit into holiday stress-busting? For me, it was a reminder of what is important. I tend to get caught up in my online business during the holidays, stressing out that sales aren't as high as last year, or wondering how I'm going to get everything done for a wholesale order. I might also wonder what I'm getting everyone for Christmas, or focus too much on my daughter's party decorations. But you know what? It's all not as important as simply spending time together.
To holiday stress-bust, just remember what is most important in your life. Weigh your options. Look at the big picture. For every little thing that is bumming you out, worrying you, or making you lose sleep - really sit down, think about that thing, and question if it's worth it.
While I still plan to be busy this holiday season, I'm taking a much more light-hearted approach this year - remembering the good things, and what's really important.