Ten things I refuse to do this holiday season

Are you the kind of person who looks forward to the holidays all year long, but sometimes secretly wishes they were already over? I admit I have both opposing feelings swishing about inside of me every single holiday season. Most of the angst comes from doing a lot of things we don’t want to do or worse, don’t have any time to do. (Why is it still so hard for so many of us to simply say “no”?)

In an effort to retain my sanity, and actually enjoy the holiday as opposed to just get through it, I’ve compiled a list of a few things I just will not do this holiday season:

• Attend holiday parties that I don’t want to attend. We all have obligations, but shouldn’t our own happiness fall somewhere into our priorities? There are often too many parties and too little time. As parents, we have trouble just getting to all the holiday shows, Christmas tree lightings, and plays that our own kids star in. Adding in the many party invites and long shopping list might require pulling all nighters just to keep up, because the house, homework, kids, grocery shopping, cooking, work projects, etc. just do not go away in December — as much as we might wish they did.

• Go overboard on presents. More does not equate with a better holiday, because material things never equal happiness — ever.

• Buy any overpriced piece of junk, because it’s this year’s biggest fad. When I’ve done this in the past, I have always regretted it.

• Do last-minute shopping. This makes the holiday annoying and stressful — the polar opposite of fun.

• Stress. In any capacity. I plan to start not stressing ASAP. “Whatever happens, happens, and I will find a way to go with the flow.” That will be my mantra.

• Buy anything just because it’s on sale. Deals can, unfortunately, be synonymous with junk. I will do my homework way before I buy anything and know exactly what I want to buy and why.

• Rush. I want to take in each moment, because that is the only way to enjoy anything. (If I can accomplish this, then that will be a gift to myself this holiday season.)

• Spend more time in the kitchen, cooking, cleaning, or decorating, than time with my family.

• Miss watching “Charlie Brown’s Christmas,” “Frosty The Snowman,” or “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” Homework be damned (or at least finished earlier). When those movies are on, we’re watching them together as a family.

• NOT enjoy the season. Life’s too short and the holidays are too precious to not savor. Kids grow up, family members pass on. The time to enjoy each other is right now!

Wishing you and yours a very healthy, happy, and memorable holiday season!

Danielle Sullivan, a mom of three, has worked as a writer and editor in the parenting world for more than 10 years. Sullivan also writes about pets and parenting for Disney’s Babble.com. Find Danielle on her blog, Some Puppy To Love.