There’s only two more Fridays until Christmas, which means I better get 1) my house cleaned up (family comes to our house on Christmas Eve), 2) shopping finished and 3) some Christmas cheer! OK, I have a little Christmas cheer, but Christmas time is always a happy/sad time for me. I guess you could say I get the Christmas blues! As a kid I used to have my annual “Christmas meltdown” at some point in the season getting overwhelmed with emotions and expectations, and as an adult, well, nothing’s changed! :) I thought I’d share a few things today that help me a little with my Christmas anxiety, in case they might help you too!
1. Embracing the Christmas Cheesiness
While my decor style tends to run towards the minimalist/modern side (more silver and sleek than Santas and snowmen), I’m trying to incorporate more traditional Christmas decor this year in my home! For one thing, my husband LOVES this type of stuff and well, it’s just fun! This year I found these fun decals at Target and since my entry way has three closets I thought it was perfect!
The big Christmas tree we put up is not your magazine-worthy tree. Most of the ornaments were my grandparents’ and since we now live in their home, and have their old Christmas tree, I try to keep using the same ornaments that were on since I was a kid. It might not be the fanciest tree around, but every ornament has a memory!
When I stopped caring so much about what the decorations looked like and more about how it felt, I’ve been able to enjoy it all more! If traditional green and red, silly Santa Clauses, reindeer and good ol’ cheesy Christmas stuff makes Brent happy, it makes me happy too! And no, I haven’t given up all the decor I like, I just put it all in together!
2. Christmas movies
Brent likes to give me a hard time about the number of Hallmark Christmas movies filling up with the DVR but I’m totally fine and accustomed to ignoring him. Ah, marriage. :)
But seriously, I turn on the television guide and go through the schedule to find new movies and old favorites. Are they ridiculously cheesy? Duh. I try to steer clear of anything too sad and stick with the traditional setup of boy & girl meet, some sort of obstacle prevents them from getting together, and then happy ending, all with a Christmas background. They’re predictable, they don’t require much thought (meaning I can do other things while watching them), and always wrap up nicely at the end! So tell me, which ones are your favorites?
Brent and I also try to watch a Christmas movie or two each week leading up to Christmas, we have our go-tos: Love Actually, The Santa Clause, Elf, and as of last year Die Hard. I think to counter that one I’ll introduce Brent to Meet Me in St. Louis this year! That seems like a good balance. :)
This one is KEY for me. There are so many expectations around Christmas and as a kid I would get so worked up over my own Christmas list, what my brothers wanted for Christmas (One year my younger brother said he wanted something crazy like a horse – I don’t remember exactly, and I was heartbroken Santa wasn’t going to bring it for him and he’d be sad. Of course I’m pretty sure his request was in passing and he never thought about it again!), or feeling sad about kids who wouldn’t get any presents and people who have no family or friends around them this time of year. Being a highly sensitive child (and now adult) I was (and still am) guaranteed to have a meltdown about it all!
When Brent and I were engaged he got to witness this as I had a meltdown in Walmart about spending money on our upcoming wedding when there were children who wouldn’t get any presents that year. This resulted in a Christmas gift he gave me of cash, which we used to buy toys for kids! We’ve kept this tradition alive over the years and still help provide gifts for kids.
Does buying toys alleviate all my Christmas guilt and anxiety? Not even close, but it’s a good step for me to take and helps keep things in perspective. I know it’s impossible for me to make every single person happy on Christmas morning, but at least I can do something. And I can always do without another sparkly sweater or new pair of shoes, and I need that reminder often!
Do you get the Christmas blues? What are some things that help you get through the season?