Opting for a 'Good Grief' Free Holiday Season

Woman's Christmas Sweater

Opting for a 'Good Grief Free Holiday Season

"I think there must be something wrong with me, Linus. Christmas is coming, but I'm not happy. I don't feel the way I'm supposed to feel." — Charlie Brown

Doesn't this simple quote from a children's {beloved by all ages} comic turned mini-television movie{s} sum up the holiday season? This time of year, there is a push from all ends, the media, online creators, retail, family, & elsewhere that everything has to be perfect, merry, & wonderful. 

While many opt not to share the less-wonderful sides of the holidays, I feel that it's healthy to do so. The pressure to have everything done by the 25th as well as done so perfectly is straining. The coming together of families can be chaotic, hard, & stressful with pandemic protocols in place as well as the fact that not all families function as the cookie-cutter family. 

The excessive {& lenghty} pressure to buy, decorate, & celebrate the holidays, starting the day after Halloween has me often feeling like Linus in a Charlie Brown Christmas. I am supposed to feel happy this time of year, but do I? 

Like many of you, whether you're a die-hard Christmas junkie or someone who likes to hide in a dark bunker until January 1st, I think our emotions are all over the place during the holidays which leads to burnout & emotions getting the best of us.  While I share holiday gift wrapping ideas as well as Christmas Cookie Plate ideas, I often feel like Linus, not happy. I often feel disappointed like Lucy. I often feel like Charlie Brown. Overlooked & deemed too emotional. 

To beat the holiday stigma as well as find joy in the season ahead, here are a few ways I am opting for a 'Good Grief' Free Holiday. 

After all Mr. Charlie Brown said it best, "Isn't there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?" — Charlie Brown


Lucy Christmas Sweater
Tips to avoiding holiday stress & burnout 

Santa Mug

Tips to Having a Stress-Free Christmas

1. Simplify Shopping List: It has taken me a good thirty-plus years to realize this, but gifts don't ease tension in the house come the holidays, nor do they make others happy. In fact, they can sometimes do the opposite. This year, to make the holidays a happier time for myself, I am opting to buy one thoughtful gift per person on my list & will stick to that one-gift limit.  

2. Handmade Holiday: Whether they go appreciated or not, making something for the holidays {craft &/or bake} is something that makes me feel good. This year, I'll make something that fuels me creatively & hopefully adds a bit of joy to my house during the season. 

3. No Pressure to Watch Xmas Movies: This time of year, I feel like I have to watch something festive or I am not 'doing' the season right. This season, I want to take off that pressure, if I feel the 'holiday-movie-watching' vibe, I'll give in, enjoy a seasonal flick. If not, no biggie. 

4. Evergreen Christmas Content: It may {or may not} come as a surprise, but I started my Christmas content in October & it goes up till the actual day. While I do this for work, I want to start organically capturing content in season & save it to use for many more seasons ahead. This way, as the next year of Christmas content approaches, I know I have a good backstock of photos as well as videos. 

5. Practice {More} Gratitude: Last Christmastime, I started a thing with myself that while I was out on my walk/run, I would say out loud one thing I was grateful for that day. Being grateful for little things can be enlightening, especially during the holidays. So much of the Christmas Hype we get caught up in is small--it's commercial. 

6. Not a Time to Mend Relationships: Another aspect I have struggled with over the holidays is dealing with strained relationships. I come to terms that Christmastime isn't a magic cure-all for broken/strain relationships & to not even add that stress to my plate. In the past, I have made attempts to reach out during the season, with a gift, card, etc, but if it was reciprocated or acknowledged, there is no need for me to try again the following year. Sometimes, it is what it is. & that's okay

Lucy Christmas Sweater
The meaning of a Charlie Brown Christmas 

Woman's leopard flats with a bow
Leopard Bow Flats 

Just like the tiny little lop-sided tree, Charlie brown breathed Christmas life into, we all need a little extra TLC this time of year.  After all, we are all a bit like the Charlie Brown Christmas Tree, unique as well as seeking love & kindness. That's what this time of year should be filled with.

"This little green one here seems to need a home. ... We'll decorate it and it'll be just right for our play. Besides, I think it needs me." — Charlie Brown

White House with Christmas Lights
Holiday Christmas Lights 

Christmas Home Lights
Lighted Christmas Deer 

Follow on Instagram @katelynchef x @katelynchefphotography_ 

Charlie Brown Holiday Sweater