Holiday Blues

It’s that time of year, the air is a little crisper, the days are shorter, and you can almost smell the pumpkin pies and balsam everywhere you go! It’s hard not to get excited when those familiar signs appear. But, for some of us it means stress is right around the corner. I was one of those folks for a long time. Today I want to share some of my story in hopes that you, dear reader, may feel a little happier to see the signs and little less frazzled.

My story began in my early twenties. I was a new wife and mother and thousands of miles from home. My mother was an AMAZING hostess and I wanted to be as great as she was. My husband was a enlisted man in the Army and I thought, I’ll treat all these young, unattached men living in the barracks, no family and far from home, to a traditional Thanksgiving meal. I’d helped my mother so many times I was certain I wouldn’t have any trouble. I’ll spare the details, but, let’s just say that my certainty was soon replaced with reality. And though those young men didn’t have a much better option, I don’t think they were prepared to wait until way past bedtime to eat some dry turkey and lumpy gravy!

Now, I’ll confess that I have improved my hostess skills a bit over the years, but not a single party comes together for me without days (or weeks) of anxiety. Or I should say “used to” come together”. Over the years I have had to accept that perfection isn’t for humans and if someone loves you they won’t mind if your potatoes are a little bumpy and you may not make the best housekeeper and cook and Mom and do your job all at the same time!

My message is this: It is all about how you look at it at, and who you spend your time with. The first thing you can do to help alleviate your stress is remember that your loved ones appreciate everything you do, and will love you even if you only serve 3 side dishes instead of 5. And for goodness sake ask them to help whenever you can. It’s so much fun to share the work and the special time together. Lastly, give yourself a fighting chance. Start each day or week with a list, delegate what you can and wake up each day forgiving yourself if you didn’t get it ALL done yesterday, and being grateful you have this new day to keep plugging away at it. Get outside, take a walk, the weather is gorgeous, breath in the fresh air and clear your mind. Eat right (when you aren’t at a party, wink wink) and get plenty of sleep. You can’t take care if anyone else if you don’t take care of yourself.

Until next time, take care!