Surviving the Holidays

by Ann King about a year ago in advice

Slow your roll, cut back and enjoy what is really important

Surviving the Holidays

Ready or not, now that Halloween is over everyone and their brother is talking non-stop about the upcoming holidays. This is a busy time of year that seems to arrive quicker and quicker each year.

Up next on the agenda Thanksgiving. Oh, sweet sweet Thanksgiving. A time for the family to gather together, show thanks and enjoy tons of delicious food. It used to be that the family would all gather at the grandparent's house for dinner. However, in today's busy world of work, kids' schedules, and the growing extended family scheduling these dinners can become quite a chore.

Gone are the days of one huge family gathering. In today's world, you must schedule around your children's dinners with the in-laws and more. So you finally pencil in your dinner time calculating just how many minutes you have for the event which has become an eat and run a marathon because...

It is also time for all the die-hard Christmas lovers to plot their Black Friday shopping plans. There are so many plans to be made. What time to start shopping, what to buy, how to get there first to get the best deals. Now if you are anything at all like me, you avoid Black Friday shopping at all costs. I much prefer the coziness of shopping online while decked out in my most comfy PJs.

But for those who are braver, and crazier you head out into the wee hours of the morning to stand outside in a long line in freezing temps to get those discounts. Truth be told, are the things you want really even discounted that much? Christmas shopping has become a major issue. The majority of people rush around spending too much money, buying too many gifts all while putting themselves in a financial hole.

This year my family and I who are all very guilty of all of the above have decided instead of buying each other two to three gifts a piece we will set a price limit and the gift limit to one gift, at $50. I am all for this since my children are all grown up, have their own jobs, homes, and lives. They do not need me to continue on playing Santa during the holidays.

There is one stipulation to these new Christmas rules... They do not apply to grandparents or grandchildren. I will forever continue to buy just as many gifts at whatever prices I see fit for the grandkiddos. (See the grandparents clause in the official handbook)

Granted I only have two for now, so it is not an insane financial strain. Over the years I have found myself eager to simplify as many things in my life as possible. I just do not feel the need to add on the pressure of the holiday in what is already, most days a busy and somewhat chaotic life.

The guilt complex for what is considered a perfect and magical Christmas is not necessary. Simpler really is better. Way back when I was a child in the 60s and 70s I remember having six gifts to open. Three were wants, toys, and what not, and the three others were clothing items.

Granted I also grew up in a really large family of six children. Funny thing is I never felt as if there should have been more. Then again during that time, there were no expensive video game systems, cell phones, computers to contend with. We all are well aware that Christmas is not about the gifts, the holiday decorations, or the dinner, or at least it shouldn't be anyway. We won't get into all the religious aspects surrounding the holiday, because these are private and personal and different for all.

So, my tip for surviving the holidays... go simple, take it slow and enjoy each and every minute you have with your family. Time spent with family is after all the greatest gift of all.

Ann King
Ann King
Read next: Allie on the Sand
Ann King

A woman of the world who feels like she has already lived many lifetimes and adventures in just a handful of decades.

See all posts by Ann King