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December 1, 2023

Protecting Your Time During the Holidays

There are so many things to do during the holiday season and they all seem fun.

You want to go to see the lights, your husband wants to visit with Santa, and your family wants to bake cookies. How will it all fit?

The truth is: it doesn’t have to.

We don’t have to do everything, every year to make the holidays special.

But…how do we decide what we want to do and what we are okay with missing?

Pull out your December calendar and let’s chat.

Step 1: Decide what your values are

              It is easier to set boundaries around our time when we know what our priorities are for our time. We can do that by identifying the values that we most closely identify with or that we strive towards.

Family, adventure, financial stability, etc.

All of these values would help us choose what we put on our calendar.

Step 2: You get first dibs

              When looking at the month ahead: put your stuff on the calendar first.

              Your daughter wants to go to that birthday party, your husband wants to go out for dinner, you really want to see that light display.

              All of that should fill your calendar first before opening it for other people.

Step 3: Create flexible traditions

              It can be nice to have certain dates picked out from year to year. For example: the second Saturday in October we go to the pumpkin patch. Those traditions are great!

              However, when we get to the holiday season and there are SO many fun things to do, it can be more effective to have traditions without as many guidelines.

Examples of this:

              Whenever we decorate the house, we also go out and do something festive outside of the house to get into the holiday season. This year it was a Christmas parade, maybe next year it will be to see lights.

              We decorate gingerbread houses every year. At the beginning of the season, I buy the kit and have it at home to decorate whenever we have the time.

Having flexible traditions allows us to have slightly different plans each year. Then we can see more of the fun things our city has to offer without feeling like we are filling every last second of the holiday season.

Bonus Tip: It doesn’t have to be fancy to be fun.

The holidays get expensive. Light displays can cost money, buying everyone a gift, planning meals for those coming into town, the list goes on.

We can also set boundaries on our finances. We don’t have to buy EVERYONE we know a gift, and if we want to give a gift, it doesn’t have to cost a fortune.

We can find free or low-cost activities to do. 

Our decorations can be simple, or hand-me-downs.

The magic we often feel during the Christmas season comes from connecting with those we love.

If you are feeling stuck with deciding how to fill your calendar, you are not alone. It’s hard to put yourself first when everyone else wants to see you. It doesn’t mean you don’t care about your family; it can help you be more present when you do spend time with them.

I can help you sift through the requests on your time and start to have more clear priorities for how you want to show up!