The week before Christmas, it seems like everyone is losing their damn minds. Shopping, prepping, wrapping, creating, cleaning, cooking... yikes! It's exhausting, right? Sure it can be fun, but O Holy Night, it's also too much.
So, instead of trying to aim for this really lofty Williams Sonoma-style Christmas perfection, can we just take a step back and focus on how to be better people in the midst of all of the mayhem? Because I want to like myself on January 2nd, and usually it's more of a self-loathing, burned-out, I-completely-neglected-myself hangover. Here are a few ways to be a better person during the holidays, so January doesn't sneak up on you and punch you in the back of the head.
Take Care Of You.
The absolute worst thing you can do this week is forget about yourself. It's easy. I know. Maybe you're traveling, maybe you're hosting get-togethers, maybe you are barely keeping it together. The best thing you can do is prioritize your own well being over, say, cooking a perfect meal or throwing a perfect party or being a perfect friend/spouse/child/parent/other. The fail-safe way to have the very best holiday is to take care of you.
Commit to the Bare Minimum.
Yes. This. Maybe you will be a party pooper. But chances are, unless you are an extreme extrovert with high energy levels and no dependents, you might need to dial back your commitments a bit. Hit two parties or gatherings in three days instead of three gatherings in one day, if you can help it. Take time to enjoy the company of yourself. Curl up with that book you've been dying to read or knit that perfect cowl you've been dreaming of.
Drink Your Water.
HOW OLD DOES THIS PHRASE GET? Because I'm pretty much over saying it. Except that I need reminders, like six times a day, because I drink my weight in coffee by 2 p.m., and then feel super gross and can't figure out why. Then it takes me another hour to remember that I haven't actually hydrated my body with water, and another hour to get up and drink a frakking glass of it. Plus, the colder weather and heat sources inside our homes dehydrate our bodies in a hurry. So, be annoyed by this reminder and go ahead and drink up anyway.
Wear Appropriate Clothes.
Before you start to bristle, hear me out: WEAR WHATEVER YOU WANT, as long as it FEELS good to you. But unless you have a spine made of silly putty and feet made of angel wings, high heels feel awful about an hour after you put them on. They are also dangerous in icy weather, yada yada yada. Leggings are warm and feel good all the time, and so do those sexy boots you found on clearance last year. You will never regret wearing stretchy things, just as a general rule. You will never regret wearing comfortable shoes, just as a general rule. You will never regret bringing your jacket, even if you don't wear it until the very end of the day, just as a general rule.
And sometimes the most appropriate thing you can do is put on a completely inappropriate outfit, because your clothes are meant to make you feel good on multiple levels and sometimes the too-tight skinny jeans and spiky heels are 100% worth the discomfort because you feel like you rule the world when you put them on. Wear whatever makes you feel like a better person.
Try To Stay Open.
This is a toughie. People are kind of annoying. I'm annoying. I annoy myself and often wonder how anyone can stand to be around me for longer than five minutes. But guess what? When I get out of my head and open myself up to the truth of how other people see me, I'm pretty awesome. There will always be the critical assholes. Sometimes those critical assholes are people you love and maybe even birthed you. It's okay. Stay open to the truth about who you are, and remember that perfection is never the goal. Connection is. And the only way to connect to yourself and to others is by propping open that door and walking through. You are lovely. Don't forget to stay open to your own inherent loveliness.
Now, go forth. Drink all the egg nog and champagne and eat way too many treats. Be safe, be wise, and be you. All of you. Happy Holidays, lovely friend.