Tuesday, December 9, 2014

My Holiday Survival Kit

Y'all!  This is a tough time of year for lots of people, for lots of reasons.  It's just like us humans to take something holy and wonderful and turn it into...well, all of this.  The compulsive shopping, the perfect decorations, the crazy!  The loneliness, the depression, the failed expectations...

I was recently introduced to Man Crates, and their awesome gifts for men.  Looking at all of their crates got me thinking about what I would include in a holiday survival kit to make it through the tough stuff.  But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I just don't stress out at this time of year the way many of my mommy friends do, and so maybe I don't really need a holiday survival kit.

I don't do anything at this time of year just because someone else expects me to.  If it brings me joy, I'll make it a priority.  If not, well, it's just not worth it.  

And yes, I'm in a fairly unique situation is this regard.  We don't have family, or a whole lot of friends, nearby, at least not friends who want to get together for Christmas celebrations.  So we don't have any parties to attend or any family obligations.  And over the past year I've gotten really good at saying no.

Which is not to say that I'm not super busy at this time of year, I am.  There are lots of things I would like to do before Christmas.  If I get to them, great.  If not, that's OK.

With that said, here's what's in my holiday survival kit:

Dove Promises--Mama's gotta have her chocolate.
If it has a little crunch, so much the better.  My favorites (you know, just in case...) are dark chocolate hazelnut and peppermint bark.

Lots of fresh veggies, lean protein, and water AND exercise--because when you're treating your body right, it'll treat you right.
Good-for-you food and exercise are the ultimate stress-buster.  This month, I'm doing this Countdown to Christmas challenge from Piper's Run.

My lists--oh, my lists!
If I don't write it down, I will forget it.  I need to make a list of my lists :)  It's on one of my lists, somewhere, to make this printable weekly agenda available to all of you...

Fuzzy pants--because it's all about comfort.
As soon as I have made it to the point of my day when I am no longer going to need to appear in public, my fuzzy pants are on. It's like my little reward for making it that far.  Sometimes? I get up in the morning, take a shower, and put my pajamas right back on.  Those are the very best kinds of days.

Inexpensive, easy, go-to gift--one thing that brings me joy is giving to others.
But breaking the budget on giving gifts to every.single.person to whom I would like to give gifts is a little bit of a joy-stealer.  And having to think about gifts for every.single.person?  Huge joy-stealer.  So I like to come up with a thoughtful, but inexpensive gift to give to everyone.  This year, it's these Hot Cocoa Gift Jars from the Magical Slow Cooker.  I love this, because if the recipient doesn't want it, it's easy to regift.

A good devotional--to keep me grounded in joy.
This year I'm reading The Greatest Gift: Unwrapping the Full Love Story of Christmas, and Unwrapping the Greatest Gift: A Family Celebration of Christmas, both by Ann Voskamp.  I am loving this trip through God's love story.  These devotionals offer great suggestions for unwrapping God's love in the world, and keep me thinking about others.

A healthy dose of GRACE-- because I can't do it all, and I really don't have to.

Your turn: what's in your Holiday Survival Kit?

If you're still looking for a gift for a man in your life, check out Man Crates--the gift you open with a crowbar.  Not kidding.  I can think of some guys (and girls, hint, hint) who would love to receive one of these :)  They're not giving me anything to say that--I just think they're cool.

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