Happy holidays and Merry Christmas.

What a wonderful time of the year. It’s certainly one of my favorites. It’s an opportunity for us to slow down, and a chance to focus on what really matters to us and to become closer to our loved ones.

And yet, with the holiday rush, oftentimes, we get caught up in buying presents, getting the house decorated, going to all of those parties, and we might lose sight of the true meaning of the holiday and also the spirit of the season. With just a few days left before the holiday many of us are probably feeling a little stressed and overwhelmed and not taking time to simply enjoy the moments that will never get back.

So what if I told you there were three simple changes that you could make today that would help you enjoy your holidays more? If your brain is on overload right now, and if you’re still To-Do List looks like it’ll never get done, why not try something new this year so that you can experience, the time and the excitement and the beauty of this season with yourself and also with your loved ones.

Here are the three simple changes that you could make starting today that would make a difference in how you experience your holiday season:

  1. Start by doing less and stop trying to do it all.  I know this is hard, especially for those of us who think that we can do it all. But just suppose that we took a couple of those things off of our plate, things that we don’t really have to do like that extra holiday party. It’s a neighborhood party, you’ve been many, many times before they won’t miss you this time, you can see them another time. Maybe it’s that extra gift that you just think you have to get, maybe you don’t. So if you were to just take a few things off of your to do list, what difference would that make to you to start relieving some of that stress? And then also, what can you delegate from your to do list? Is it possible that someone else could do some cooking this year? Do some of the shopping for the food this year? Someone else could help wrap presents? It may well be that they are actually standing on the sidelines waiting for you to ask. I know asking isn’t easy either, but just suppose you asked this year for a little bit of help. See what a difference you can make not just for yourself but for the people that you actually ask.
  2. The second thing is to top buying more. Now you may have already bought a lot of presents, some of them you might even be feeling guilty about because maybe you bought too much. But certainly stop buying more because maybe more time with someone is exactly what they need or want. Also if you have purchased too many gifts and you’re having some regret, feeling a little guilty over having gone over your budget, consider putting a few of those aside for later on during the year for a special occasion or for birthday.
  3. The third thing is start letting go of the way you think.  Thinking things have to be the way that they’ve always been.  Think of the freedom that you would have around that. So stop trying to make everything so perfect. This is definitely not easy. It’s one of the things I still struggle with even though I have so much less than I used to have. We all want it to be perfect. But just suppose you gave yourself the gift of being enough of having enough. I would assert that if you look around, you’ve got everything you need, and want, probably sitting right next to you.

I hope this is your best holiday ever. Please try to think about ways that you can let go of some of the things that you think are so important, and just look right next to you and see that’s what’s most important. Happy holiday and Merry Christmas.

Rita Wilkins,

The Downsizing Designer