This weekend is technically pre-holiday, and yet I have the tune-up for the car so it will make it over the hill and through the woods, packing for that trip to Grandma's house, getting my hair done so people will recognize me, the annual neighborhood event Gingerbread Lane, early morning sales at toy stores...and the usual stuff that keeps life running.
If I sit and think of all I will accomplish in the next six weeks, I'd need a drink. And since I'm off the sauce until at least Mother's Day (unless the babe is late), that ain't gonna happen. Instead, I'm taking it one day at a time, and trying to remember my best tips to get through the holidays, sanity in tact.
1. Bring a book. It seems to get good seats at concerts and good buys at stores, you need to get there early. I always keep a book tucked in my handbag so I don't get so bothered.
2. Do the dreaded holiday letter. You'll never finish your holiday cards otherwise. Trust me, mine from last year are still in the box.
3. Make a list, check it twice. It's the only way to make sure you got gifts for everyone...and to keep track of sly hints as to who wants what.
4. Wear loose clothes. You have enough to do without thinking about sucking it in. Besides, layers are practical AND forgiving.
5. Take time at each function to breathe and smile. Sometimes I get so wound up I can't even recall the details of what I've done. Taking a minute to look around and appreciate makes every gathering more memorable.
6. Bring the digital camera. You never know who might pop into family gatherings. Looking back at pictures is one of the highlights in life.
7. Get some help from the store. You have my permission to buy your fudge. And dinner rolls. And anything else that might help you enjoy your holiday season.
8. Light a candle. If Hanukkah is your gig this year (who decided it could come so early?) or if it is not, light a candle for your loved ones no longer able to share the holidays with you. Acknowledging your loss can ease the ache.
Those are the tricks that keep me going through the holiday season. I know you have many, many more. Let's spend the weekend sharing how to enjoy this time of year.
Jenna is hard at work on her next title for Mills & Boon Modern Extra. In the meantime, check out her website, blog, or reading group, We Call It Research.