The sea­son of ‘It’s all too much’

Get a grip this year and fit the hol­i­days to your sched­ules and needs

Albuquerque Journal - - NATION - BY MEGHAN LEAHY

As the hol­i­days ap­proach, I’m feel­ing a lit­tle Scrooge-y. I love the lights and the an­tic­i­pa­tion and see­ing fam­ily mem­bers, but I can get re­ally bah hum­bug as De­cem­ber wears on. Maybe it’s be­cause I’m jug­gling work and my chil­dren’s sched­ules, or maybe it’s the change in time (my gosh, it is dark early). This year, I am try­ing to hit the re­set but­ton and fo­cus on what the hol­i­days stand for. I want to see the best in my fel­low hu­mans and spread love.

When I chat with my par­ent friends, though, I hear a fa­mil­iar re­frain: “It’s all too much! Too many par­ties, too much pres­sure to dec­o­rate the house and too many gifts. I am ex­hausted, and I don’t want to dis­ap­point any­one.” These par­ents want to have a nice sea­son, but they feel a lit­tle bul­lied by the ex­pec­ta­tions.

It’s a lot. So let’s see how we can sim­plify things and get some joy go­ing.

When I ask par­ents for their favorite hol­i­day mem­o­ries, there are com­mon themes: Close friends and fam­ily mem­bers, a deep feel­ing of be­long­ing and warmth, and tra­di­tions. Gifts are less im­por­tant, and no one men­tions over-the-top va­ca­tions. The mem­o­ries even bor­der on the mun­dane, but the feel­ings of be­long­ing and ex­cite­ment loom large in their hearts.

Our chil­dren are the same. They say they want stuff, but what they truly want is our time and at­ten­tion.

So when the cock­tail party in­vi­ta­tions are com­ing in fast and fu­ri­ous, or the school event re­minders are clog­ging your email in­box, take a deep breath, drag out your calendar and get real. Ask your­self these ques­tions:

1. Does this party bring me joy, or do I feel ob­li­gated to go? (This also goes for host­ing.)

2. Does the event cre­ate joy in my fam­ily?

3. Do I re­ally want to vol­un­teer for that func­tion, or do I feel ob­li­gated be­cause I do it ev­ery year?

4. Can I take a year off from at­tend­ing the event or vol­un­teer op­por­tu­nity?

5. Can I at­tend a func­tion and leave early?

Here’s the beau­ti­ful thing: If you look at your calendar and ask your­self these ques­tions, you will be­gin to make de­ci­sions that are right for your­self and your fam­ily.

This de­ci­sion-mak­ing also goes for cookie- and ginger­bread-dec­o­rat­ing ac­tiv­i­ties, white ele­phant gift par­ties, and trips to “Nutcracker” per­for­mances or elab­o­rate dis­plays. Re­mem­ber, we are not judg­ing whether the event is good or bad. We are choos­ing to own our time and our joy.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.