Christmas is a wonderful, but exhausting, time. If you have young children, even more so. Combine the grown up Christmas catch ups with the school nativity concert, kinder Santa visit, the Christmas Carol events, and the stealth-like visits to the shopping centre on behalf of Mr Claus, and it makes for one crazy time.
I would consider myself to be an extrovert – I don’t mean loud and boisterous (although possibly) but more that I thrive on the company of others. I love to socialise, I love a party and I love company. But, without a doubt, this needs to be balanced out with down time and time alone. Properly alone, not just at home with my family. So, while I love Christmas, I also find it a challenge because that alone time that I really need (not just want, but need) is rarely available.
So this is a guide for the solitude-challenged. Here are a few tips for getting through the thick of the Christmas mayhem.
1. Christmas is all about acts of kindness – that includes to yourself. Go to that yoga class, get that pedicure or a quick coffee while dashing between K-Mart and Sports Co. Savour it. Those moments are few and far between, but essential for not losing your sh*t right when Santa’s due to shimmy down your chimney.
2. If you’re heading to a party, speak to the host and find out who will be there. If you’re not going to know anyone you’ll be prepared for it, if you are, you’ll know you’ll have an ally.
3. Drive to the party. It will stop you from taking refuge in champagne. And the next day, which you’ve set aside to finish your shopping, will remain in tact. Speaking from experience – there is NOTHING worse that last-minute Christmas shopping with a hangover.
4. Be comfortable. If it’s warm in your part of the world (like here, in Australia) dress for the weather. By all means, rock that Christmas party frock, but pack your flats for a bit-more self-love. Sore head and sore feet – NO THANKS!
5. Leave at least one afternoon (or a whole day, if you can) free each weekend in December so you can have some time at home to take stock, get organised for the week – do some washing, plan some meals and potter around. I find pottering around is the most soothing thing to do in busy times.
6. Put off that Christmas catch up. The world will not end if you don’t see your friend, aunty, mother-in-law ex-colleague before Christmas. A January catch up is so much more enjoyable because Christmas is over, we’ve all calmed the hell down, and we no longer feel under pressure to do EVERYTHING!
I don’t think there is any way around this time of year and what it has become, unless you totally bow out of Christmas altogether – which is no fun for anyone. Having a few strategies to balance out the crazy is one way to make it more enjoyable and cruise in to Christmas Day without feeling like you want to divorce your entire family.
What about you? How do you manage the silly-season?