The Cozy Holiday Manifesto

Manifesto – a public declaration of policy and aims

It’s almost here! That most joyous time of year full of twinkly lights and delicious treats. While we all love the holiday season, we can also fall into the trap of guilt during this time of year. Like when you have a slice of cake and a cookie at that party. Or when your gift for your nephew isn’t as exciting as someone else’s. Or you host that work friends party because you should. Holidays are wonderful but we beat ourselves black and blue sometimes.

Personally, I’m settling into another holiday season childless. So not only do I worry about gifts and outfits and getting all the usual things done amidst the merriment, I’m stuck with that feeling that yet again, there’s only two of us. No little icing covered fingers to decorate cookies, no letters to Santa, no repeated choruses of jingle bells. Christmas for two is quiet and not quite so sparkly. But this year, I decided I want to give myself permission to be me instead of trying to keep up with the Joneses. And The Cozy Holiday Manifesto was born. I’ve come up with five areas of guilt that I’m battling this year.

1. I will eat what I enjoy and savor each bite. – I’ve been working on this as a whole. Eating what I actually want to eat instead of eating because it’s available. Holidays are fraught with treats and this year, I’m going to eat what I actually want instead of cookies because they’re on the counter. What’s more, I’m going to savor what I eat and not feel bad about it.

2. I will give gifts I can afford and save expensive ideas for later. – It’s no secret that I’m a gift giver. I think I get it from my grandmother. When I find the perfect gift for someone, into the cart it goes with nary a look at the price tag. Since being married, Dearest Carl helps me in this area a lot. And this year, I won’t feel bad about giving within our means, even if it isn’t the most exciting thing under the tree.

3. I will decorate my house the way I want to and not the way Pinterest tells me. – I just said to Dearest Carl the other day that I don’t know how some bloggers do it, decorating their home in a different theme every holiday season. This year, I will scroll and admire but I’m going to enjoy what I have. Our glowy tree is, after all, the very best thing ever.

4. I will give my time to projects I enjoy and leave room for rest. – Guys, I’m not a DIY person. I don’t craft. However I do host and cook! This holiday season, I want to spend my free time doing things I actually enjoy instead of guilting myself into crafty projects. I’m not even going to bake Christmas cookies because it’s no fun by yourself.

5. I will listen to my needs and say no when necessary. – “No” is a hard word, especially around the holidays. There are so many things we could say yes to! This year, we definitely have a great holiday calendar with Christmas parties and Christmas dates and candy making but I am not going to feel guilty for saying no. In a season that’s so completely family oriented, some days I need to acknowledge that it’s a bad day and I need to stay home. In a season that is all adorable family photos and pregnancy announcements, I need to protect my heart a little bit better. So just know, if you’re a recipient of one of those “No”s, it’s not you, it’s me.

Five goals for myself this year. Starting right now. If you want to join me, feel free to PRINT OUT THE MANIFESTO! Let’s have a better holiday season and be a little kinder to ourselves!

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