Your 2022 holiday reminder

You know what time it is. It’s November 11th and I’m willing to bet that at least one person reading this has already had a mental breakdown over the holidays. Well, I am here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be that way. The holidays are meant to be enjoyed, not suffered through. 

I have for you today a list of holiday dos and don’ts. These are the same ones that I go by, though I usually need a reminder around this time of year. Really, I do this for myself as much as for all of you. Because it’s so easy to get caught up in all the expectations of this time of year and forget that the point is to have fun. The point is that we just spent another eleven months dealing with inflation, family-breaking politics and scary world changes. We get one month out of the damned year to commit ourselves to joy, and so help me we’re going to take it!

Yes, this list is going to look a lot like some of my previous ones. But I become a better writer every year, so I’m going to go ahead and repeat myself anyway. It might sound prettier this year. 

Holi’do

Spend time with the people you love. I mean the people you actually love, not the ones you feel obligated to. 

Prioritize your joy. What do you love about the holidays? Do you love baking cookies, or reading holiday classics? Do those things to the fullest. Personally, I’m all about seasonal coffee and reading any holiday book that isn’t a romance novel. I also love a good holiday movie or special. So, I plan on doing those things as much as possible.

Find little things to make the holidays better. A mug that you love, a set of really pretty stickers. I’ve been all about these ambient videos recently. 

Yes, the holidays are great for big meals, events, fancy clothes, parties and all that sort of thing. But there are so many little joyous moments to enjoy as well.

Be kind to people. Actually, this should be something you do all the time. But especially during the holidays, be nice to people. You can buy someone’s coffee in line and donate to charities if you’re financially able to. Be kind to people in the service industry. Be kind to everyone you come into contact with if you can. It’s the holidays, just be nice. 

Holi’Don’t 

Don’t spend time with people who make you feel like shit. A lot of people have gotten better about this through the year, but seem to find it harder during the holidays. So if you feel like you need someone to give you permission, consider it granted. You don’t have to see anyone who is a dick to you, ever. It doesn’t matter if they’re family. If they can’t treat you well, you don’t need to be around them. 

Don’t skip your self-care just because you’re busy. And I totally understand that this time of year is busy! But if you’ve been spending this year putting good self-care habits in place, don’t wreck them now! Keep up with your yoga, daily walks, journaling, face care, meditation, alone time. Whatever it is that you do to take care of yourself, keep doing it.

Don’t overspend. Again, this one I need to hear more than anyone else. I get the desire to overspend. Especially on my pets. I swear I am such a sucker for anything holiday-themed for these spoiled ass animals. Oh, and my husband I guess. But overspending just puts you in a bad spot come January. It’s a spot I don’t want to be in again. 

Don’t let other people make you feel bad about how you celebrate. Not even me! Look, I have some strong opinions about people who put their Christmas decorations up before Black Friday. But it’s honestly none of my business. Put up your decorations whenever you want, however much or little you want. Don’t put anything up at all if you don’t want. Celebrate whatever you want to, or don’t celebrate however you want to. Whatever it is, don’t let someone else tell you what it should be. 

Don’t get hung up on the details. And yes, this is one I struggle with! I spent weeks searching for chestnuts because it just could not be Fall until I had baked some damn chestnuts. 

But there is every chance that, just like the last few years, you might not be able to get something you want or need due to serious supply chain issues. We’re going to have to make some exceptions. We’re going to have to be flexible. Because if we decide it just cannot be the holidays without this one thing, and that one thing is out of stock, we’re going to be sad for no good reason. 

Don’t think that your holiday has to look like someone else’s holiday. Right now, Instagram is my best friend and also my enemy. I am in love with this specific holiday aesthetic of red gingham and burlap on white furniture with candles and red trucks with Christmas trees and labradors. Oh, but I also love this all-natural Yule look with clean pine trees decorated with cinnamon sticks, cranberry strings and dried orange slices. 

I am not an Instagram model. If you follow me on Instagram, you know that. I will never have that perfect aesthetic, no matter how much I try.

You as well will probably not have that aesthetic that you want. Your holidays will also not look like your mother’s, your grandmother’s, or that one-in-law who is perfect and a bitch about it. Your holidays are going to look like yours. And that’s practically perfect in every way. 

And so are you. 

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