This time of the year, I'd like to pause and pay some respect to one of the unsung heroines of the holiday season: The woman behind the red suit, Mrs. Claus.
Forever the beacon of festive merriment and joy, Mrs. Claus is the quiet giant of this special season - often overlooked in favor of her husband, who gets all the credit as the architect for the most wonderful time of the year.
But behind the scenes, Mrs. Claus is cooking and sewing, wrapping and trimming, and even helping with the naughty and nice list. As if that isn't enough, on the one night that no one wants their husband to be gone, he packs up his sleigh and heads out to make his rounds. She never complains or makes a fuss.
During this joyful season, many of us find ourselves in the same position as Mrs. Claus; quietly responsible for making the winter months magical for everyone on our list. So, how do we tap into our “inner Mrs. Claus” to ensure it's a satisfying time for everyone? Well, here are some thoughts:
- Make a plan and then STICK TO IT. A plan takes pressure off and allows you time to celebrate the season. Just like the Clauses, make a list and check it twice. Plan your shopping around your natural routine. If you stick to your plan, you will be amazed at how easy your holidays can be.
- See yourself through their eyes. If you could see what a great job you're doing, you wouldn't be so hard on yourself. Stop and take a step back to see all the great stuff you are doing to make their season bright.
- Seek out help if you need it. Even Mrs. Claus gets a little help from the Elves. If you need to, ask someone to help put lights on your house, have a gift-wrapping party and ask your friends for help getting prepared. Or just let something go and know that it doesn't have to be perfect to be right. Advocate for yourself and ask for help if you need it.
- Don't Overdo – set limits. Even the holiday season needs moderation, and we tend to do too much this time of year. Make a conscious decision to not overdo with food, gifts and schedules these next few weeks.
- Plan a shopping "date night". Plan to get a sitter, have a nice dinner out and get your entire list taken care of together – without the distraction of the kids. It goes faster and makes the season a shared experience.
- Let yourself relax. Mrs. Claus rests on Christmas Eve – I can imagine her with her feet up drinking cocoa by the fire, enjoying the quiet calm of a job well done. Plan some “me” time this winter, a cup of coffee, a great smelling candle and a good book can go a long way to help your psyche.
- Select gifts with meaning and purpose. At the end of the day people don't remember quantity, they remember quality and the special moment they receive the gift from you. One meaningful gift is worth three mediocre gifts. Select with sentiment and your dollars and gifts will go farther.
Let's all take time to celebrate the real Wonder Woman of the holiday season, and lift our voices to sing celebratory praises to Mrs. Claus.