Have you found yourself saying (or hearing) one of the following: Oh, this time of year . . . it's so busy! I just have so many things to do! I can't wait until January when thing slow down! There is just so much happening between Thanksgiving and New Year's!
I honestly don't feel this way at all. In fact, this time of year seems to be even less stressful than usual. Homeschooling is humming along. Agents are enjoying the warm days and spending lots of time outside. (Gotta love living in an area where you can run out into the back yard in your bare feet in the middle of December.) We're pretty relaxed here this season, and following are just a few reasons why:
We won't be calling on relatives. Face it: No matter how well you get along with your own parents or your in-laws, visiting far-away family during the holidays is Stressful with a capital S. Why? Because you (and your kids) are out of your element. You can pack creature comforts from home and adjust to the temporary quarters and have a good time overall, but it's not the same as being in your own home. Regardless of your length of stay, this will take a toll on your sanity (and, likely, your kids' behavior). Honestly, not worrying about whom to visit and when and how long is kind of a relief. That's not to say we are complete homebodies for the holidays. In fact . . .
|How we spent Christmas day 2011|
We vacation in December. This is the second year in a row we will spend part of the time leading up to Christmas traveling . . . just me, Hubby, and our three Secret Agents. We don't really do gifts and so in a way this is our family "gift" to ourselves. Instead of anticipating this time of year as chaotic and stress-inducing, we look forward to the time to relax and unwind before the new year.
We don't stress about shopping. No Black Friday lines or early morning treks out for bargains here. We only buy presents for a select few people (primarily our children's cousins as part of a gift exchange) and we make most (if not all) of those purchases online. Part of this is likely just the introvert in me but I haven't set foot in a mall in months. The holidays don't change that.
We don't do Santa. Or that darn Elf. The Great Santa/Elf Discussion has been buzzing around my newsfeed for a while now. Yours, too? Seems some folks have some pretty strong opinions about both. I've written previously about why we don't push either of these stories at our house. I can't even fathom trying to keep up with these fabrications.
Lest you think we're all bah humbug, we do celebrate Christmas. We'll talk about St. Nicholas. We'll have birthday cake for Jesus. We'll open presents from the grandparents and cousins. We just don't get overly wrapped up in the hub-bub that most folks seem to this time of year. Sometimes, however, it feels like we're the only ones.
Does this time of year stress or rejuvenate you?