This been a year like no other.  How are you holding up?  Are you feeling the holidays might be what puts you over the edge?  Or maybe you feel like you need to escape the COVID pandemic and the election cacophony that by celebrating the holidays in a larger than life way might be just the cure?

Whatever your feelings, what’s your sanity saver during the holidays?  Do you even have one?  Do you use lists and then have lists for your lists or do you calmly meander along doing one thing and then another as you happen upon it – with assurance that all will be well regardless of what or what doesn’t get done?  If you are the later, please, please tell me how to do this.

I am a list maker and a planner.  Truth be told, this is half the fun for me.  I use folders for each event and everything goes in that folder from recipes to invitations, to “To-Do’ lists.  They remind me of what needs to be done.  There are the Christmas cards and letter (yes, I still do them – but may be converting to email cards for next year).  Then I have lists of people I like to give gifts to.  Each year is a new list so that I can see what we gave the prior year because frankly I cannot remember.  I have menus that I have done – favorite and notes on what didn’t get raves or were complete failures.  I even have pictures of where I put all the Christmas decorations around the house because I can’t remember where the plethora of stuff goes.  You see a pattern here, don’t you?  If it’s not written down, I won’t remember it.  And yes, I am a bit obsessive compulsive.

Every year I try to simplify things because – well – it gets harder every year.

And no matter how organized I am, life is complicated.  And I get frazzled, frustrated, exhausted and lose my Italian temper.

So what’s an anal retentive, OCD, gal like me do?

I have given up things that physically I can no longer do without injuring myself.  We do not put lights along the roof line of our home.  In fact, lights are kept to some hedges and a spotlight on the nativity.  I no longer put a Christmas tree in every room.  However, the addiction to trees is still strong as I do decorate four trees of various sizes.  There is the family tree in the living room, the nature tree that is in our entry, Thad’s Start Trek tree and our “wedding tree” in our bedroom which holds an ornament for every year we have been married.  Throw in all the other decorations and it’s enough to keep us busy for a week and then crave a massage. Anybody know of a good message therapist?  I no longer string garland all over the doorways of our home because I now sport spurs in my neck which I am sure came from the years I did the lights on the rooftop and the garland on the doorways.  I also do not host all the holidays anymore.  I am quick to ask each family member which holiday they wish to host – although COVID safety precautions have certainly changed this scenario.

This year I am not going to look back to what I always did or what I no long have or can do but look to what I can and want to do to make the holidays sweet, stress less, and full of joy.

Regardless of the stress of 2020, I am determined to do and not do whatever it takes to leave the stress of 2020 in the past and see the simple abundance of what I do have.  Family, friends, a warm and comfortable home, with the aromas of good food and the knowledge that while not much is in our control these days, God has it all under control and that is something that definitely saves my sanity.

How about you?  What will you do or not do this year for the holidays that will help you save your sanity?  How are spending the holidays?  Please share in the conversation.

Thank you for reading my post.  If you have found it encouraging please consider liking, commenting or sharing it.  Feel free to even re-blog – may these words take flight!

I have additional insights I’d love to share with you found in the pages of my debut book: Surviving Medical Mayhem – Laughing When It Hurts.  To order a copy or learn more go to my website at www.lorettaschoen.com

Blessings for Health & Wellness.