Give Yourself Permission to Create a Christmas You Love

Christmas Slowtime: How To Have A Stress-Free Christmas by Christina Greve
How To Have A Stress-Free Christmas by Christina Greve

Yesterday, when I was walking my dogs I saw the most magical sight; An old man maybe around 75-80 with authentic looking Santa beard had tied a HUGE Christmas tree to the side of his bike. It looked crazy, funny and beautiful all at the same time. I’ve never seen anyone do this before.

I stopped walking and I just stood there staring at him in awe. I started waving at him like a fan to a movie star and I spontaneously shouted; “OMG you are so inspiring!”. (I’m happy no one was there to witness my embarrassing behavoir, haha).

Before, this moment I had spend a couple of days worrying about how I would get a Christmas this year. I had ordered a Christmas tree online but the company turned out to be fraud, and they ran with my money. Now, I had to go and find a new tree and I was afraid I couldn’t fit it into my car.

To be honest; I had turned this Christmas-tree-situation into a a much bigger problem than it was… but now, looking at this cool elderly man with a Christmas tree on his bike; my worries suddenly seemed hilarious.

I was reminded how important it is to allow ourselves to do Christmas our own way; without stressing over stupid little details, without putting pressure on ourselves to get everything perfect.

So instead of putting pressure on myself to get a BIG + perfect Christmas tree, I went out and bought a small one that I could easily fit into my car. Christmas tree done. End of worries! Thanks to “biking Santa” I saw things clearly again.

So if you find this season a little overwhelming; I have some life-saving tips to help you get through it with your sanity intact.

Let’s make sure the stress-monster stays away so you can enjoy December and turn it into the cozy-filled time it’s supposed to be. You deserve to enjoy every moment and not just feeling like you are surviving it.

#1: Re-Design Your Christmas Traditions

Just like me, you might be born into some family traditions that no longer fit into your life. Maybe you feel that going to events and parties takes time away from what really matters to you; like slow down time with your kids, partner or pets. Maybe you just want to pull the plug and carve out some time to reconnect with yourself instead of trying to please everyone in your extended family?

It’s time to RE-THINK your Christmas traditions and re-design them to fit YOU. Consider what matters most to you? Consider what makes you truly enjoy the Holiday? What are your needs? Your desires?

One of the major changes I personally made a few years back; was to say no to the annual + traditional Christmas dinner with my extended family. All I wanted was to stay home with my kids in our PJ’s doing nothing.

My family was NOT happy about this; in fact they were angry and disappointed. They gave me the “how dare you” attitude, and I had to defend my decision countless of times!

Today, I’ve stopped feeling guilty. And what is guilt anyway? Something negative that you hold over yourself to play small and be unhappy!

Guilt is no longer part of my Christmas season! I’m determined to live MY life on my own terms – not following other peoples agendas or rules. How about you?

Remember, this is YOUR life and you are allowed to change traditions if they no longer serve you. You don’t need permission from others – but you do need permission from yourself!

Can you give yourself permission to create a Christmas you love? A Christmas that is full of joy and completely stress-free? Follow the whispers of your heart and say “NO” to everything that no longer serves you.

Saying “No” can be life-changing. How many times do you say yes to something just out of guilt? Or out of the wish to please others? Listen, you just end up kicking yourself and in not saying “NO” you set yourself up to feeling stressed, discouraged and disappointed.

And luckily there are many ways to say no in a way that’s both kind and respectful. Here’s some of my suggestions:

  • This year is not a good time for me (and my family) to….. (attend your beautiful event/dinner/party. We need to slow down/find peace and take a break from the daily rush).
  • I’d love to do this but….(this year I’ve decided to take some time to rest and be with my kids/partner/pet/close friend).
  • I cannot say yes to this just now, I need to talk with my kids and my partner to see if it will fit in with our family time….
  • Let me think about this and get back to you.
  • It’s just a “no” for this Christmas. Let’s see if we can do it next year.
  • I wish I could commit, but I can’t. (I’ve decided to create a peaceful and quiet December/Christmas/Holiday for me and my family).

#2: Forget being PERFECT!

Seriously, do yourself a favour; stop trying to be the perfect Christmas Woman/mother. Stop putting this pressure on yourself! Aiming for perfection and striving to impress other people with your Christmas perfections are the direct way to burn-out.

This year allow yourself to downsize your expectations; especially the expectations you put on yourself! 

Downsize and simplify the decorations in your home to the presents you buy. Let “less is more” be your motto this season. You don’t have to impress anyone! Focus on being present and mindful with the people who matter to you instead of spending time getting everything perfect.

Christina Greve Photography

The truth is; no one will remember that perfect Christmas wreath or that perfect Christmas tree in five years. But what people remember is the honest attention and love that you gave them by being fully present and stress-free.

And YES, your kids/partner/family will survive not having the perfect Christmas. Actually, they will love you for slowing down and showing them what matters most. Make your holiday season the best for you and yours. And don’t invite perfection into your cozy time!

#3: Carve Out ME-TIME

Alright, now I want you to grab your calendar and look at it. If your December is super busy and your calendar is packed with events and to-do’s, I challenge you to DELETE at least 3-5 events/things/plans. Instead of following through with these things replace it with “SLOW-DOWN Me-Time”.

This is time for self-care! Get a massage or a facial. Go to the hairdresser. Get your nails done. Take a long bath with a glass of wine. Stay in bed, read a book or listen to a meditation. Do something creatively while listening to your favourite Christmas tunes. Or how about this; try to do nothing at all. It’s hard to do nothing, but a good self-care practice.

One of my self-made December traditions is to spend 2-3 days on a Spa Hotel – no kids, no pets and no husband. It’s how I show myself  appreciation and celebrate all I did during the year. It’s also my way of re-connecting with myself, plan my upcoming year and simply rest after a busy year. Needless to say, I love that tradition. All it takes is some good planning ahead.

Enjoy My Christmas Playlist

Need a wonderful Christmas PLAYLIST to calm you during December? I got you! Listen to all my favourite Christmas songs via Spotify here; COZY CHRISTMAS SONGS

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About Christina Greve

Christina Greve is a Lifestyle Photographer, Stylist, Empowerment Coach and Holistic therapist. She provides tools, education and inspiration designed to help multi-passionate women, artists and creative souls find direction, push through self-doubt + make a living doing what they LOVE.She is known for her elegant storytelling photography and draws much of her inspiration from the Nordic countryside, travels, food and still life.Her work has been featured in numerous magazines, blogs and books worldwide. After a decade of working with psychology, Christina's passion for photography evolved into a full-time photography and coaching business.Today she runs a thriving + fast-growing international empire specializing in professional online training, motivating and engaging female photographers, designers, bloggers, makers and creatives. She has coached thousands of fabulous women from more than 40+ countries.With her Podcast "The Empowered Creative," her popular Instagram posts, and quickly sold-out workshops, Christina has become the go-to person for many creatives seeking like-minded sisterhood, real support and heartfelt encouragement.