Penny, the very nice owner of the popular Surrey Mummy website attended the wheelbarrows seminar back in May. A few months ago we met up leaving behind the hectic morning “can’t-find-swimming-costume-nor-one-left-shoe” school runs and over a quiet latte and a cup of tea agreed that we would offer her readers some simple “create a more enjoyable Christmas” tips – the wheelbarrows way. Below is the article that will be featured on the site very soon. I thought it would be nice to share it with you, too.
If you are anything like me, you are soon to discover that once again December and Christmas has managed to sneak up on you. Sigh!
Oh, December. With its sweet promise of blissful family time, an abundance of gracefully prepared and exquisitely presented food, soft twinkling lights, velvety soft crimson cheeks and icy fingertips all accompanied by soft flowing hymns guiding us dreamingly down memory lane.
Amazingly it is the same December that seems to require more planning than when an army prepares to invade a medium sized country, the same month that demands endless visits to shops resembling well established ant farms and makes us write to-do lists the length of dark crooked alleyways where robbers are waiting to steal our very last drop of Christmas spirit.
So what are we to do? Here are a few tips to you may want to consider:
- Learn from your mistakes.
Review what you already know doesn’t work for you? This year do something different. Having guests 4 days in a row or committing yourself to make every dish from scratch and with organic ingredients only, decorate every room with handmade tinsel, help with every raffle, school trip, cake baking, costume making, Christmas party planning committee may be just a bit too much. How much is enough for you? Prepare yourself by getting clear what works for you and avoid over committing yourself. Practise saying no.
- Get clear about what REALLY matters.
How would you really like yours and your family’s Christmas to be? Which key activities or elements need to be present for you to fully enjoy this time of year. By getting clear about what is meaningful and important to you, you can make much better choices and ensure you focus on the right things. How does your list of priorities look? Which December activities give you a true sense of joy, fulfilment and happiness? Make sure you attend to those.
- Find ways to work smarter, not harder.
Think about three things which, if you were to do them differently this year, would have a BIG impact on how much effort (mental or physical) is required on your part. On-line shopping, paying for your grumpy, endlessly complaining auntie to stay in a B&B instead of in your house, converting your annual Christmas party to a summer party, use of a diary for daily/weekly targets, replace the home made cranberry sauce with shop bought etc. What could really make a difference for you?
- Check in with yourself.
Review how YOU are doing. Begin to notice when you feel caught in a frenzy of doing, doing, doing leaving no time for being and enjoying. Ask yourself if you are getting caught up in trivialities? Notice how you talk to yourself. Would you use that tone of voice with a friend? Could your inner voice be gentler, more empathetic? If so, have a little chat with that inner voice and encourage it to speak to you in a kinder way.
So, what do you say? Shall we make this year, the year we triumphantly embrace December? Embrace it and make it sparkle in our very own unique way? I’d say yes, let’s do it!