Christmas - stocksnapThe big day is nearly here. My children are bursting with excitement! We took a little getaway this week as a family before the festivities get into full swing. We all came back feeling rejuvenated and made some fabulous family memories. The holiday season can get a little out of hand at times. Family functions, work parties, secret Santa, gift buying, baking and cooking. It is important to plan for the holidays so you stay in charge of the schedule rather than the schedule running you.

Remember a few weeks ago when my kitchen turned into a filming set? Well, here is the first video I want to share with you. It is short, sweet and filled with Christmas cheer! Watch the video or read the highlights below.

  • Learn to say no – I know this is hard but it is important. Make a list ahead of time of the things you value and want to be a part of. Christmas choirs, family functions, work parties, volunteering, cookie & gift exchanges, and the list goes on. This way you can see what your calendar looks like before responding to extra invitations that always seem to pop up during the holidays.
  • Keep your expectations in check. Your loved ones want to spend time with YOU! When they look back on this Christmas, will they remember that you didn’t bake any Christmas cookies or will they remember the extra time you had to spend with them having fun?
  • Avoid the post Christmas bulge & bloat. Be the one who brings healthy options to parties. This way, there will always be something that you feel great about eating handy. It is okay to indulge a little bit at this time of the year. We have something to celebrate and we were blessed with taste buds to enjoy food with. The issue is when our celebrations begin to string together day after day and we can’t remember the last vegetable we ate! Try eating a little something healthy before you arrive at a party. This way you won’t be famished when you arrive and all you can find is cheese ball and Christmas squares!
  • Remember the real reason we are celebrating. Christmas is not about presents & decorations. It is easy to lose sight of our focus in the midst of the hustle & bustle. For my family, we remember the gift of a child so long ago and how that impacts our lives today. Take the time to breathe deeply and be present in the moment.
  • Be mindful of others. Holidays aren’t always a time of celebration. For some, they are grieving the loss of a loved one or unfulfilled expectations. Others may be struggling with health or financial issues. It isn’t your job to fix everything for them, simply be a kind face, give a reassuring hug or share of your resources when you can.

From my family to yours, we wish you a blessed Christmas filled with many new and happy memories to cherish.