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Recovering from the "Holiday Hoopla"

We’ve been so wrapped up in shopping for the perfect gifts, budgeting our money, worrying about money, traveling to visit family or having family visit you, winter school programs, cooking, cleaning and holiday gathering that you don’t even realize how worn out you really are. Whew! I’m tired just thinking about it!

So I wonder with all of this going on, did everyone have plenty of time to spend with your family/friends? Take some time to laugh, share and learn stories of family/friends and holidays past? Did you reflect on those empty chairs that have been left behind by a missing family/friend that has passed on or is serving our country abroad? What about the people that they left behind? Did you take time out to spend some time with those that are going to be alone for the first time?

Wow! I thought I was tired before -- now I’m exhausted!

There are so many things on the check list for a “perfect” holiday and only a limited amount of time. Well, I think the key word here is “perfect.” There is no such thing as “perfect!” Once we realize this like I did, I made a well- informed decision for Clark Enterprises Inc. I decided to take more control of my/our holiday time this year by deciding we were holiday downsizing! This meant a little less materialism and making and sharing more memories. That meant that one or two things the kids asked Santa for were all that I had in mind for Santa to bring, no elaborate parties to throw and no big plans for celebrating New Year's.

Or so I thought.

One thing I didn't plan on -- Dad’s idea of celebrating the holiday.

Somewhere along the way there was a break down in communication between Dad and I. He had a completely different outlook on gift-giving than I did, but he always does! Budget or no budget, if it looks like fun, Santa’s putting it under the tree (even if the kids don’t know what “it” is). My husband is the ultimate big kid of the house. He started shopping for this holiday back inI believe October (maybe I made my decision about downsizing too late). He is a faithful Black Friday shopper. Leaving the house at 2:30 am to return at 7:30 am! To me that’s crazy, but to people like him, it’s the ultimate adrenaline rush! For him and many like him this is what the season is about. It’s this adrenaline high that keeps this holiday buzzing. Adrenaline is what we run on for several weeks before it’s all over in a flash, and then we crash.

Luckily, we balance each other out and we all got what we wanted for the holidays! Family and friends, peace, memories, giving to others (the kids participated in Operation Christmas Child -- if interested, go to Samaritan's Purse) good food and more! It may not look like a “perfect” holiday to others, but it was for us!