Tuesday, December 4, 2007

I Need a Chill Pill

Would that be a Xanax? Do you think that chocolate chips will do it? Does anyone else out there get absolutely crazy like I do at the holidays? It was only a few years ago that I realized what a complete, anxiety-ridden nutcase I am when left to my own devices. Somehow, I believe that:
  • everything must be perfect in order for anyone to enjoy the holidays.
  • it is up to me to make sure that everything is perfect.
  • "perfect" means perfect. no room for error, a dirty bathroom, or a bad hair day.
  • the more people that I can convince to come to my house for the holidays, the better, even though it will send me into a frenzy trying to make everything perfect for them, too.
My darling husband pointed out a few years ago that our little family feeds on my anxiety. You've heard the phrase, "When Momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy"? (Pardon the terrible grammar.) I realized then that in my efforts to make everything perfect so everyone would be happy and look on the holidays with fondness, I was actually making people around me miserable because my stress levels were so high. And yet, even though I now know this cerebrally, I still in my gut believe that everything must be perfect.
Every year I think of some way that I am going to reduce and simplify our holidays so that I will be less crazy. And every year I am still crazy. What's a girl to do? Don't get me wrong, I love this time of year (although it's hard to imagine why!)
Anyhow, does anyone else have Christmas-makes-me-crazy-itis? Does anyone know a good cure? I am really focusing on exercise, scripture study, and prayer, which really helps some days. But not all the time.
Picture above is of the pies that we made the for Thanksgiving. With the pies brought by guests, we had 14 pies and 1 cheesecake. Yikes!


Yvonne said...

Oh Yeah.. I too, get crazy. But I am learning and I think that, as with anything...it is a process! First, cut yourself some slack. Second, if it's not fun (or you are not having fun doing it) DON'T do it!..this will change from year to year. The first year that I did not do a Christmas letter, I could not sleep and felt that I was a complete failure. Low and behold, the world did not end and the next year I did a letter and all was fine. Some years you can do more than others...if you have small ones, do less and enjoy it all more. I try to get the "work" of decorating and baking and wrapping done early, so that I have more time to ENJOY without stressing. I cut myself a lot of breaks and use the excuse that I have little kids. I have time to perfect perfection (and actually wash china dishes after a meal, instead of using paper plates...yes, Virginia...on Christmas! when the kids get older) I am often the only one who is let down or disappointed in what doesn't get done. My husband and kids are much happier when I am! Good luck! Try to let something go...it is hard, but it only hurts for a little while!

Andrea said...

I know how things can get really crazy. For me I try to do more stuff before december so I can really enjoy the season. Last year it worked well. I hope it will work this year.

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Rebecca said...

Hi Michal. Checking in on you! Hope you are still chillin'.

Jen said...

The past few years, we've had a special Family Home Evening at the start of the season for a planning session (aka reality check). Together we brainstorm a big list of all the fun things we could do for Christmas. Then we tag the few things which are absolutely essential. Then I explain to everyone that, although I'm going to try to facilitate many of the other fun things, we might not have time for all of them. Basically, I set everyone up with low expectations, then they're happily surprised when we do extra fun things! Don't know if that's your style--it fits me, though.