It’s no secret that the holiday season has become increasingly stressful this year for several reasons. In the midst of all the wild events happening in our world, there's still this pressure to orchestrate a picture-perfect holiday dinner. As we all scroll on Pinterest boards for inspiration, we adding more tasks to our to-do lists for the perfect Instagram worthy Christmas party.
While some people may enjoy making detailed desserts that look like a Martha Stewart display or the hours of Christmas shopping, many others find it stressful. According to the mental health charity called, Mind, at least 1 in 10 people struggle to cope with the pressure of having the "perfect Christmas."
I am sure if you ask your grandparents what Christmas used to be like, I’ll bet they would tell you a different story. If they were of the generation that lived through the depression era, you can be certain that there was very little—if any—Christmas shopping to be done.
Let's take a pause, a breath and reflect on what matters the most. This holiday season doesn't have to be stressful, you can change that by adopting these three tips inspired by our elders.
1. Focus was on being together with loved ones and participating in activities together.
Rather than rushing around trying to have everything in perfect order, focus on doing fun things together as a family. You can play board games, share funny stories around the dining room table, bake homemade goods together, watch funny and heartfelt Christmas movies, and so on. If you can't be with your family physically this year, you can always connect online.
2. Simplicity is key
Decorations were much simpler years ago! Popcorn was strung and used as a garland hung outside for the birds to enjoy. Fruit featured prominently in décor—orange peels were used creatively as little baskets, or peels were dried and cut into shapes. These simple traditions are low-cost and allow everyone to focus on quality time together, rather than stressing about fancy décor.
3. Take a breath and slow down
Perhaps this year you can slow down the pace of the holiday season by practicing the art of saying no. You don't have to do it all, you don't have to host a family dinner again, and most of all it doesn't have to be picture perfect. Be present, slow down, and enjoy the everyday moments. Enjoy your fresh cup of coffee an extra five minutes, read your favourite book in the evening snuggled in a warm blanket, cuddle your furry friend, or whatever helps you to slow down from the holiday rush.
What I've learned from our clients is that there's something special about holiday traditions. Maybe it's time to slow down and revert to some time-honoured traditions from your grandparents’ era.