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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Are You Going to Over-Commit Yourself Again This Holiday?

"Over-commitment kills relationships and steals joy."
~Susie Larson
Are you starting to over-commit yourself already this holiday season? Are you secretly dreading the holidays and can’t wait till they’re over because of all the work that’s in store for you? Then maybe you are over-committing yourself.

When you promise too much to too many people you aren’t helping any. You are actually causing harm. You are harming yourself and the ones around you, because when you over-commit by promising too much, you end up worn out, grouchy and depressed.
This causes the people around you harm when your actions reflect your bad mood. In essence, you hurt their feelings. You get short tempered with your kids for causing more havoc and chaos (why can’t they behave better?), you get angry at your spouse for not helping more (after all they are his parents!), and irritated with your family for expecting you to do it all (can’t someone else host the party this year for a change?)

So, how can you stop over-committing yourself and still get all the things done on your to do list? Well, the simple answer is, you can’t.

Sometimes, doing less is actually doing more. Sit down with your spouse and your children if they are older and make a list of all the things you think you need to do. Then prioritize.
Do you have to put up all the holiday decorations in the attic or can you do without a lot of it?
Less is more and a few pretty things looks so much better than a bunch of decorations just put out everywhere just because you have them.
Do you really have to get a present for everyone?
This year might be the best time to talk with all the adults in your circle of friends, family and co-workers and discuss a no gift holiday. I bet many of them will be relieved you brought it up. Include anyone over 18 in the no gift tradition.
You can also draw names for the kiddos in the family if there are many children. They can do the exchange amongst themselves and the kids will really get a kick out of drawing a name, keeping it a secret and shopping for the gift. Remember to set a dollar limit like $5 or $10.
This greatly eases the burden on everyone and relieves a ton of stress. Thanksgiving time is a great time to draw the names.
One exception from the name drawings and no gifts holiday may be older parents or grandparents. They deserve our gratitude and anything we can do for them. But avoid trinkets. Few people need more “stuff”, so maybe everyone going in together to buy something they really need that no one can afford on their own is a great idea.
Do you really need to attend all the parties you’ve been invited to?
No, of course not. Find out if which events are really important to everyone in your household to attend and only commit to those activities. School plays and any religious ceremonies might be some important ones not to miss.

If you feel you must attend more than one holiday party, then make your appearance brief, but friendly. An hour is long enough as long as you make a point to try and visit with everyone briefly and remember to be lively. Just long enough for them to know you were there, but not so long as to cut too much into your time.
Do you have to make everything yourself?
Don’t bother making something from scratch if you feel it’s too much to do right now. Just swing by the grocery store and pick up some cookies or cupcakes. Buy a cheap plastic, decorative plate or container and have it ready for you to transfer the goodies from the store’s plastic box onto your plate and no one will be the wiser. Some inexpensive bouquet of flowers or wine for the hostess is also a nice touch.

When it comes to hosting your own family holiday party, it’s OK to ask for help. Ask everyone to bring something to share. So what if everyone shows up with desserts. Most people won’t complain about having more choices in goodies.

Also, though we are all trying to be more Eco friendly, I think it’s OK to occasionally break out the plastic utensils and paper plates. What dishes you do have, ask for help cleaning up. Some great conversations are to be had when one is washing, one is rinsing and one or more is drying.

Keep the menu simple, no big turkeys or hams unless you really want to. If someone makes a snide comment about the store bought cold cuts tray, then smile and say you look forward to attending next year’s party at their house!

If you do want to cook, then ask for help making the side dishes. Light some candles, put on some music and crack open a bottle of wine for the helpers to make it fun. Cooking can be fun and festive with a group of people and some good conversation. Your guests will enjoy themselves and you more if everyone, including their hostess is having a good time.

Did you remember yourself?
Shortly before the holiday’s craziness begins make an appointment for yourself at a salon. Just make sure to make your appointment weeks ahead of time as this is their busy season. Get your hair done, your nails and maybe even a massage. Taking some special time for yourself and maybe giving yourself a new look does wonders for your mood and your outlook.

Most of all remember what the season is all about. It will help put things into perspective.

Then sit back, enjoy your loved ones and accept all the compliments on a great time had by all!
Wishing you a fun filled, stress free and safe holiday!
~If you are a stay-at-home mom who has ever struggled to make ends meet, or a working mother who would like to transition to a business that allows you to spend more time with your family, then Project MAHMA is for you!

Project MAHMA(Moms at Home Making A Difference…and a Lot of Money!) is a global coalition of moms (and dads) who are earning an income from home and giving themselves the gift of freedom— including more time with their families—while at the same time offering others the gift of better health and a better life.

Visit us on the Web at: Project MAHMA

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