Top Ten Thursday - Keeping Sane

Welcome to Top Ten Thursday!

Today we're talking about The Top Ten Things that help us to keep sane during the Holidays. 

We've all been there, people have the best intentions of celebrating peacefully with their family, but expectations and tension are hight, and then somebody drops a wine glass or says the wrong thing and boom! All that fuzzy Christmas spirit is gone.

I recently spent a sweet hour of ultimate freedom here!

  1. Less is more. Seriously. I am my own worst critic. I want everything to be perfect. Why? Will there be medals? From time to time I need to be reminded that people don't know about what's missing. They see what's there, and that's plenty!
  2. Breathe. It's not a life or death thing - it's just dinner (or insert anything that makes you nervous.) Guests (usually family and / or friends, not Michelin inspectors) are here to enjoy your company!
  3. It's the Holidays for you, too - even / especially if you're a Mom! You don't have to do everything yourself - delegate! Kids may set the table or arrange cookies on a plate. Happy Mom, happy family. Or something like that.
  4. Yeah, you're not supposed to eat cookies, your pants are tight as it is. Now is not the time to worry though. Be merry. The carrot sticks aren't going anywhere. Well, on second thought, keep them in your fridge. With all the treats you get to eat, you'll be glad to have something healthy to feed your family. 
  5. Make lists. Seriously! There's too much to keep track of. Write everything down and check the items, what a wonderful feeling of achievement!
  6. Stock up on non-perishable groceries for quick meals and use delivery service so you don't have to join the crowds on those days. This applies explicitly to Switzerland. On Dec 25 / 26 (same again Jan 1st / 2nd) stores are closed, meaning people shop on Dec 23 / 24 (Dec 30 / 31st) as if the world was going to end. You don't want to fight for parking spaces, shopping carts and that last (insert item you badly wanted.) Don't go there, it's not worth it! If you still go, be sure to follow my blogger friend Karen's tips, they're hilarous!
  7. The dreaded Christmas card writing is not taking care of itself, that's where Paperless Post comes in. Christmas card writing can be done easier online. This might not be everyone's first choice, but they have both online and printed card options. Many of their online cards are free, which is perfect for quick and simple cards, without compromising quality and style. In using this link you can explore all free designs of holiday cards
  8. Keep it simple. Lost track of time browsing at the Christmas Market / Mall,..? No time left to go groceries shopping and for making dinner? Bring something from the Christmas Market / Mall's Food Court, done!
  9. Christmas gifts for people who have everything? I know it's hard, but try and think of what they like to do? Are they into sports, books, their smart phone? There are jerseys, tickets, vouchers, i-Tunes cards that come to mind. Something I always get for both of my parents are "Autobahnvignetten" yearly passes that allow them to use every Swiss freeway, in California they're called FasTrak or ExpreSSAccount. Also who said everyone has to give a gift to everyone, and at the end of the party they all go home with loads of dust catchers as I like call stuff you can't really use but don't dare to regift or throw out. Play secret (or "public") Santa by drawing one name from the pot and give one meaningful present!
  10. Kids! They are excited, they are giddy, and they may become overwhelmed. If they have meltdowns, we have meltdowns. My blogger friend Ariadne put together some excellent reminders for us parents here.
I explicitly didn't mention having a glass of wine or three. I imagine many people who are depressed around the holidays are not supposed to feed - or drown, for that matter - their blues. For everybody else, by all means...

What are you doing to keep your head above water these days? Share in the comments below!

I will come up with more ideas and activities next week (Dec 22nd) we may all be in need of some last minute Christmas hacks: recipe ideas, gifts for those who have everything, quick clean up tricks - bring them on! Sign up here!

Let's use the last Top Ten Thursday of this year to talk about our blog in 2016: what were the highlights, be it specific posts, goals reached, achievements made,..? Sign up here!

PS: I was not compensated to mention the Christmas Cards. I did so because Each purchase from the (PAPERLESS POST )RED holiday collection supports (RED)'s fight for a world without AIDS.