Feeling overwhelmed? You’re not alone. Now is the crunch time for people who want Christmas to be perfect, but can’t have a good time themselves because they’re crushed by their own great expectations.
Experts say to truly enjoy the holiday, just let go.
“There’s so much to do. Something will go wrong — you just have to accept that that’s going to happen,” Ericka Souter, editor at TheStir.com, told TODAY’s Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb on Christmas Eve. “Don’t fixate on these details that no one really cares about.”
She recalled a friend who almost lost it because she was trying to string popcorn garlands for a Christmas party and couldn’t get it done in time.
This isn’t the time for perfection, advised psychologist Dale Atkins.
“It’s a little harder for people who need everything to be exactly so,” she said. “If it’s possible, ask your friends for help. Understand that of course it’s better to wrap beforehand but if you haven’t, don’t make yourself crazy by saying, ‘Oh my God, I didn’t do it on time.’”
Be realistic, Atkins advised. Ask yourself: What can I do? What can’t I do? Realize that you can’t buy into other people’s expectations of you. And be sure to take care of yourself during this stressful time.
“We’ve got to remember: What is the holiday about for you? Is it about being together? Is it about seeing your family? Everything doesn’t have to be ‘just perfect.’ You want people to enjoy, have a good time. Feel the calm, not the panic,” Atkins said.