December is a busy month. Christmas shopping. School concerts. Staff parties. Decorating. Family traditions…
This is supposed to be a season of joy, yet it’s all too easy to feel overwhelmed, frustrated, even resentful, due at least in part to all the extra stuff we feel we must do (whether we want to or not).
Who wants that?
We cannot completely eliminate the plethora of extra activities the season brings, but we can be more intentional about what we do and why we do it. I have devised a simple chart that can help you make decisions about your holiday priorities. Use it to help build a holiday schedule that enables you and your family to have a joyous holiday rather than a stressful one.
Download the Holiday Activities Prioritizer.
How to use the Holiday Activities Prioritizer
Start by listing the various activities and tasks you will be facing over the next weeks, and then checking whichever columns apply. For example, one activity on most schedules is: Set up and decorate a Christmas tree. I would check the “Must do” “Expected” and “It bring me joy” columns. See more example entries in the worksheet snippet below:
Next take a harder look at the activities on your schedule.
The back of the chart includes a list of questions that help you consider how the various activities line up with your family’s values and preferences. Questions like:
- Why are you expected to fulfill this activity?
- Who holds the expectation? (Do you put it on yourself, or is it someone else’s expectation?)
- Why does this activity fill you with dread or joy?
- What are the consequences of skipping activities you dread?
- Do your “must do” activities help you achieve your family values?
- How can you make those dreaded activities easier to face?
- How can you add more joy to your holiday schedule?
Here’s an example:
I hope my Holiday Activities Prioritizer helps you identify which activities bring the most joy, and which the most stress, and how you might adjust your schedule to keep this month a season of joy.