Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Christmas Oh My!: Keeping Yourself Calm During the Holidays

Okay everyone, I for one am not unfamiliar with the hustle and bustle of the holidays and all of a sudden random family members are appearing at your house uninvited. Many chores have been placed on you, random children in your room, and most importantly you can’t eat until everyone is there and the food is done. I am here to help you keep your cool for the holidays.


The first major holiday is Thanksgiving, let me prepare you. If your the oldest or an only child like me, you don’t have a choice when it comes to grocery shopping with your parents. This involves getting up and hitting the stores at 7 am! No breakfast, no staying in the car, and especially no time for being lazy. You are most likely going to shop at 3-5 stores when buying food for thanksgiving. The lines are gonna be long and so will your day. Once the shopping is done your parents come home and begin to prep the food, while you’re stuck with putting a thousand grocery bags away. All of this has happened to me, I have learned over the years that I get annoyed waiting in line, hangry in the markets, and most importantly knowing that my mother will not make any extra stops. So before your all-day trip with your parents, pack breakfast, lunch, and a snack. Have your phone or any other electronic fully charged, and I can not stress this enough, bring a car charger. This will keep you busy while you’re running around. If you’re like me and you hate waiting in line, pull out your phone and entertain yourself. Now when all the shopping is done, your parents while preparing the food will give you an insane amount of chores. The first is to clean your room and that will take all day. Next is to clean the bathroom, living room, and dining room for all the guests coming. Finally, throw out all your old clothes, put them in a box so they can be donated. ⅓ of these tasks are easy to do. What made it easier to get done was music. Have a poppin playlist that will keep you on your toes. When cleaning find a room you are more familiar with, and make that the last room to clean. For example, I am more familiar with the setup of my bedroom, so I save that for later because once I’m done cleaning all the other rooms I’m extremely tired and really over it at this point. By cleaning my room last it’s done quicker because of all the familiar places, and I can then relax. 


The next major holiday is Black Friday. It can get just as hectic as Thanksgiving. If your family is anything like mine, right after eating Thanksgiving dinner we discuss a game plan for Black Friday shopping. I personally like to save my time, money, and patience for Cyber Monday, but I also love a show as I watch my family go insane in stores. If you go shopping alone, my advice is to make a list of stores you know for a fact your gonna buy items from. Know your purchase, meaning know what you’re going to buy, before even going in. Stay calm, a happy face will make a happy place. Trust me with a positive attitude the experience will go by much quicker. This holiday is really going to test your patience especially with long lines and bad attitudes. If you have completed everything within your shopping list, I say relax, go home and enjoy your new deals. But again if your family is like mine, they will continue shopping at any other store to check out the deals. The most important rule for Black Friday shopping is to STAY SAFE. So many injuries can come from running into a crowded store, and fighting over whatever item you want. If you can’t get that item, be like me and wait for Cyber Monday.


Finally the most important holiday of them my opinion, Christmas. I enjoy the festivities, new movies, baking, presents, decorations, and music. What I don’t enjoy is random children in my room, having me clean up behind everyone who was not invited, and then becoming a personal babysitter while my family members go out (no one knows where they go). Let me remind you Christmas is about 3-4 weeks after Thanksgiving, so this means repeating the same process of hectic shopping, cleaning, and being a mule to your parents in order to prepare for this major holiday. To keep yourself calm and relaxed, remember this is the last major holiday of the year until you have to repeat it all over again. For those little ones who always find a way to be in your room, keep them busy. If you have any video games, board games, or old movies for them to watch, keep them distracted. For those uninvited guests, unfortunately, you can’t kick them out, but what you can do is show them the kitchen where they can place their dishes and the trash can where they can place their garbage. When it comes to being left watching the children, remember that you're the babysitter, so you’re in charge. Set ground rules on what the children are allowed to do. In my opinion, it is easy to have a dedicated room where you will be spending most of your time. I suggest the living room, if you’re like me the tv is in the living room, the room has a lot of open space, and the kitchen is close enough to grab a snack. Set the room by adding pillows and blankets, get the children comfortable enough to fall asleep, trust me with all the food, a warm comfortable atmosphere, and a long movie the children will be asleep for the rest of the night. 


The holidays are always stressful and can become the worst when not prepared and when you are not taking time out of your day catering to your mental state. I know for myself when following these simple tools my holidays have been a lot easier and manageable when dealing with family members, and holiday shopping. In the beginning, I did struggle and became frustrated, I isolated myself just to have a moment of peace and quiet. I learned that having a big family means quiet is never an option during the holidays. So go with the flow and using a few tricks up your sleeve can lead to a peaceful and enjoyable holiday.