It doesn't have to be this way. I think my stress comes from wanting to make everyone I love happy (my chronic need to please syndrome). I have to find that special gift for let's see...6 people and counting. My house needs to be perfect to entertain guests on Christmas Eve. I want to make the most delicious meal ever on Christmas night. And I still have to keep up with everything else I do each day. So when I looked in the mirror at my frazzled face, I thought, "Something has gone very wrong. This is supposed to be fun and I look like I'm about to jump off a cliff."
If anyone else feels the way I do then follow me in making this declaration:
I will have a joyous Christmas. I will slow down and take time to BE part of and in the season. I will remember that the holiday is a celebration of love and love comes in many forms (not just in a perfectly wrapped present that I spent hours searching for). I will be aware of and pay attention to the people around me. I will not subject anyone to my irritation, impatience, or self-importance. I will remember that this time of year is for sharing of myself (just a smile will do) and receiving from others (I really do deserve it, sometimes I have trouble remembering that I'm taking the joy of giving away from others when I try to do everything myself).
And after all of that, I will take more deep breaths, be still for a moment in the joy of the season and remember it can last through out the year if I chose for it to. I will head to my car with quiet contentment and finish my shopping with a grateful and loving attitude.
Happy Holidays to all!