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A Peaceful Holiday Season is Possible

book, glasses, coffee on white background

Photo by Nicole Honeywill on Unsplash

Last year I took a stand.  I decided to have a peaceful holiday season.  That is unheard of for a retail business owner.  

Plus, I have 3 kids which usually equals lots of gifts and trying to make sure everyone has equal amounts of gifts, which never seems to work out and usually involves adding more “stuff” that no one needs or even wants for that matter.  

The previous year’s holiday seasons were so insane that I hardly remember them.  I distinctly remember last November, thinking that it was our last holiday season before my oldest son left for college and there was no way I was busting through another holiday season that I wouldn’t even remember.  Absolutely no way.

Plus, there is no reason that I couldn’t actually enjoy a time of year that I used to really love.  Thinking back to when I was younger, it was never the gifts that mattered.

It was the time to slow down and spend with my family, some of whom I was only able to see in December.  It was time making cookies with my mom. It was time watching football with my dad.

All my fondest memories of the holidays involve a slow time with family.  

So, I had to put my foot down on a few things.  It wasn’t easy, but it was something I knew in my heart had to be done. 

Maybe you're a retail business owner too. Maybe you’re a mom. Maybe you’re just someone who has gotten swept away by the hustle and bustle that is the holiday season. 

If you want a peaceful 2019 holiday, keep reading. If not, I’ll see you in January at yoga.

Set Early Deadlines:

I put an early deadline on my custom orders.  I realize this doesn’t apply to everyone reading this, but this was a huge step and it needs to be addressed. 

It was scary to tell all my customers that the deadline for custom orders was November 8. I don’t even start shopping before Thanksgiving so I realize this may have hindered some sales, but boundaries are important, even in business. 

The truth is small business owners have to be very careful or their entire lives can get swallowed up in this business that they love so much.

Get Started Early:

I started getting ready really early.  I’m talking, I started making my holiday products in September

I also asked for and hired help with the production of my products.  I started my own shopping before Thanksgiving, which is huge for me!

Eliminate What Doesn't Matter:

I did less stuff that doesn’t matter.  Don’t get me wrong, I love having a beautifully decorated home, but sometimes it’s just too much work. 

I still decorated for Christmas, but I kept it minimal. When I sat down at night to chill ( yes, I said chill), I would admire the beauty of the twinkling lights, but I also admired the simplicity of it all.  

Simplify Shopping:

I spent less time shopping.  Can I get an amen?

As I get older, I swear I would rather retake my SATs than to have to step foot in a mall, especially during the holidays. 

Shameless plug here, I did a lot of my shopping at The Handcrafted Cooperative last year. I felt so good about supporting fellow small business owners and giving my family gifts that were thoughtfully made and unique.  

I'll be there again this year, along with a ton of talented artisans...stop by and see me!  November 16 at The Morgantown Marketplace on Spruce Street.

Buy Less:

I know!  A bold statement from a shop owner whose 4th quarter profits crush the other 3 quarters combined, but 'tis true...I bought fewer gifts. 

That’s right. Believe it or not, your kids will still love you even if they have less junk to put away come January. 

I would be willing to bet that when they look back on their childhood, they will remember the important stuff, like time spent together, not the gifts.

Keep Your Healthy Routines:

I kept up with my morning routine, meditation, and exercise.  For me, these are all activities that keep me healthy and sane. 

It’s very easy to slip out of your regular routine during the holidays, but for me, these 3 things were non-negotiable.  I am 100% confident that without these tools, my holidays would have been stressful.  

OK, friend...are you ready to reclaim your holidays as a peaceful time to enjoy?  Just remember, you are in charge of your own life and if actually enjoying it is a priority, then set those boundaries. 

And, come December 31, when you reflect on this holiday season, I hope you...

A. remember it.

B. feel completely at peace.

Let me know your thoughts and as always, reach out to me with any questions!

Emily Kurth abstract artist


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