Just Keep Calm

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Just Keep Calm - Quick things to help you keep it together this season.

So far this holiday season I haven’t freaked out. It’s still early, of course. But, this is pretty good considering my past. I’m not sure if it’s age, experience, or fatigue, but I’m slowly learning not to string myself out too much.

You see, years ago, I sent out 100+ handwritten, sometimes, even handmade, Christmas cards. I made all the gifts for our families. I baked 12 kinds of cookies.

Some of that was because I truly wanted to do it. Some was because DIY was the only option; we couldn’t afford to buy. Sometimes, I think I had something to prove.

Maybe it’s because I’ve now had 16+ years of not being able to complete my to do list. Now my focus isn’t so much on getting things done as it is keeping things together. In my heart. In my mind.

Staying calm, being a pleasant person to be around, not driving my husband crazy: these are my goals for the holiday season. There was a reason why he put his foot down one year and said NO MORE HAND MADE GIFTS.

I was a maniac to live with. Saving that buck wasn’t worth the price he and our children were paying. Yes, he’s a wise man.

So, now, I focus on trying to stay calm.

I hope you will, too. Over the coming week or two, I’ll be posting a quick idea that you can put into practice should you find yourself on the Edge of Freaking Out. They might work, they might not. But, at least we’ll say we tried, eh?

Our efforts, though imperfect, will bring honor to the One who came to bestow peace on the world.

Just Keep Calm - Quick things to help you keep it together this season.

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness of his government and peace
there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.

— Isaiah 9:6-7

Watch this post. I’ll update it with quick tricks to help you keep your cool this holiday season. Or at least distract yourself enough not to be a crabby mom.

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  1. I sort of go back and forth. I’m a teacher, and this time of year is kind of frustrating because I love Christmas, but I am always having to grade a ton of papers and exams. When I was in school, I had to write a ton of papers and exams. Also, my birthday is in December, so that adds to the frustration since I am always under some kind of major deadline on my birthday and leading right up to Christmas. At the same time, I want to be doing fun Christmasy things and can’t. Also, I have to do Christmas shopping. Usually I kind of give up and take the easy route out of lack of energy for it all, then at the last minute I regret not having made something cute for people or not having prepared little gifts for some people. Then I try to pull something together at the last minute, and I usually fail to pull it off. So, that’s me.

      1. Yes, I’m trying to do that, but it only goes so far. I have a ton of grading to do. I’m not having any get-togethers and I’m starting to do shopping earlier (for me, this is still early). I’m taking time to do Christmas things with my son, who loves that. It means my students are a little snarky though. I find I can’t make everyone happy, and I am choosing family over my students, even though I care about them too. I only teach part time, but it’s a new job and there’s still a lot to do with homeschooling and life too. I’m trying to “keep calm.” We’re also changing our traditions a bit to ease extended family stressors, so that should mean a quieter but a more contentment-promoting holiday.

  2. Thank you for those suggestions. For a whole host of reasons I won’t go into, this particular Christmas is very hard for me and I have been really struggling with my emotions. I need to take a breath and do some of your suggestions. Walking does help as does spending some time on my cross stitch. Also doing crossword puzzles takes me out of my brain going round and round with my stresses.