Holiday Survival Tip - Pamper Thyself

Okay, if you look at the calendar, you have two weekends before Christmas arrives. Now I'm not talking about any pre-parties. I mean Christmas Eve and the big day-Christmas.

If you have young children, you probably have all the gifts wrapped and hidden. If your family is grown and participates in a Secret Santa, then you may still be scurrying for that gift within in the designated price range for your Uncle Max.

But, these matters are not the big worry for me. I am concerned about making it to Christmas Eve. Each year someone takes a picture of me as I am opening gifts on Christmas morning with dark circles under my eyes and my hair not combed. I am sure that my progeny will view years of video and wonder what I was doing to look so unkempt. Well, for the record, that is how women who don't pamper themselves through holiday preparations look at the big moment - tired, listless, and sometimes a little out of it.

So, this is a reminder to all planners of the joys, surprises, meals, and marvels of the Christmas season. Pace yourself for the last leg of the race.

1. Schedule multiple breaks for yourself everyday. This is a must.  Even if it is only a five minute break in the farthest room in the house that has a lock on the door.

2. Start your day with breakfast. Make sure you are fueling your body for the demands of the holiday.  Protein is great for a starter. Remember peanut butter is a protein.

3. Keep yourself hydrated.  Heated rooms not only dry out your skin, but inside your body. Drink water.  Avoid carbonated drinks, high sugar beverages, and imbibe in alcoholic drinks sparingly. Remember water is a woman's friend.

4. Tell your children to have short "quiet time." Turn off the noise. This temporarily calms the level of intensity. Play a game to see who can lay perfectly still for a minute. You can set a timer and have the children be quiet for 5 minutes.  If they talk, the timer is reset.

5. Allow yourself to take an item or two off you list. Each year we plan to bake cookies for the entire neighborhood, write a family Christmas letter, mail all packages out on time, and make a hostess gift for every holiday party we are attending. Look at the items on your list.  Decide if these are things that are necessities or "nice to do." Place the necessities first, if you have time add a few "nice to dos."  Want to pamper yourself?  Take one "to do" off.  Want really to treat yourself? Take two items off your list this year.

What do you really consider makes your Christmas special?  What represent the tradition and beauty of the season for your family? Focus on that concept the next two weeks. Learn to take 'quiet time outs' and allow yourself the luxury of taking things off your list. Be good to yourself, so you can be a
good elf to everyone else.


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