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Full of Cheer!

Cat in the Hat

A study revealed that 80% of Americans do not like Christmas. They find it a stressful, difficult time of the year in which they feel pressured to buy gifts, fall into debt and spend time with people they don’t like.

I am the 20%.

I love Christmas. There are rarely days between Thanksgiving and Christmas Day that I am not doing some small thing to stay in the holiday spirit. I love watching Christmas movies. I love baking. I love looking at cards. I love driving around to see lights. I love seeing the decorations in the city. I love good Christmas music.

But this isn’t a post that’s just me gushing about how much I adore the holiday season (though I do – have I established that well enough?). It’s also for you, dear reader. And that is why I offer to you Five Ways to Stay Creatively Sane During the Holidays.

1. Make sure to schedule in time for yourself. I fall prey every year to my own inability to schedule time appropriately. Looking up, I realize suddenly, “I leave for Virginia in three weeks and my weekends are booked – oh god!” And there are gifts to wrap, confections to sugar up, people to see and… Don’t be like me. Give yourself the gift of even twenty minutes a day to recharge and work on something.

2. Forgive yourself. I already know that I’m not going to be terribly productive this month. And you know what? I’m not going to beat myself up about it. I know that come January I will be back at the bag, and I know that I’ll at least tinker with a few things here and there. I’m not setting myself up for failure. Not for the next few weeks anyway.

3. Journal. I don’t jump on the journal wagon nearly as much as I should. This is a super stressful time of the year, and it’s easy to feel like you’re one of those cartoon characters that’s just gotten buried under a comically huge snow drift. When that’s happening, go into a small room with a notebook, close the door and write for five minutes. Get it out. Figure out what’s bothering you. You might find it actually doesn’t have anything to do with Aunt Marge or that guy your mom keeps asking you about over Christmas turkey.

4. Do good for others. Give back to your community during the holidays. Whether monetarily or through the gift of time, do something that benefits the human race. It feels great. You’ll feel like a super hero, and they will appreciate it. Even if you never see their face, someone out there is benefiting from your small donation, your willingness to do what’s in your power to make the world a better place. This always leaves me feeling inspired. Karma creativity – who knew?

5. Avoid negativity traps. I’ve been working on this ever since Thanksgiving, and the Internet makes it really, really hard. The horror stories of Black Friday, the griping about consumerism, the bickering about which new holiday gaming system is best…I’m trying not to take part in it. It’s a waste of time and energy you could be using on Ninjabread cookies. As I find myself having my time drained, I’ve started to stop and ask myself, “Does this contribute to who I want to be during this time of the year? Is this making me happy?” If the answers are ‘no,’ I find something else to do.

Happy Holidays!

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