I’ve wondered a lot about what to share this month – photo tips or ideas about capturing the in-between moments this Christmas or something else entirely - but in the end, I’ve decided to share the Christmas Survival Guide I’ve written for myself with you.
You may be someone who absolutely lives for the Christmas season, and if so, 1 – That is awesome, and 2 – I’m jealous. Feel free to skip this post and continue singing carols.
But for me, December is the most stressful month of the year. Between the extra high expectations from everyone, our overly full calendar, and the general admonishment to be joyful at all times, there are moments I find it all a bit overwhelming.
So I made myself a Survival Guide to follow because writing stuff down helps to make it happen, right?
Christmas Survival Guide
1 – Say “No” to a lot of stuff. And don’t feel bad about it. It’s just not possible to BE EVERYWHERE and DO EVERYTHING.
It’s okay to define which parts of celebrating your family is going to do, and which you’re going to skip – at least for this year.
It’s okay to do the parts you love (for me that’s putting together our Christmas card and going to the Christmas Eve service), and to say no to others…even if you’d like to say yes, if you had unlimited time.
It’s okay to stay home and relax instead of going out to see The Lights or The Show or any of the “This is a Christmas Thing and you MUST do it because it’s a super special memory that you and your kids must have together or you’re an awful parent!” (Or something like that.)
Because your kids would much rather remember their mom happy and relaxed at Christmas, than rushed and harried and hassled.
2 – Say “Yes” to a few things you’d rather say “No” to.
I know what I said in #1.
But say yes to a surprise outing or get together - especially with friends or family who let you be you, and love you for it.
Say yes to time with the kids or a date with your husband (even if it’s a glass of wine on the couch after the kids go to bed), instead of getting something marked off the list. (Maybe that thing can be moved to the “no” list???)
And say yes to that one thing that would mean the world to your mom or your mother-in-law or your sister. You can do it. Really.
3 – Be forgiving.
Someone’s going to do or say something you don’t like.
Someone’s going to get upset when you do or say something they don’t like.
And someone’s – for sure – going to give the kids something you’d rather they didn’t.
Especially at Christmas.
Breathe, forgive, and let it go. Even if you don’t feel like it.
I don't know how successful I'll be in following my survival guide, but I'm going to try really, really hard. Because the time will pass, and years from now, I'm going to want to look back on photos from this Christmas with a smile.
Merry Christmas and Lots of Love,
PS – If a 2017 Film or Photo Session is on your Christmas list this year, gift certificates are available in our store. Download instantly and stress-free. Find them HERE.