Getting Through the Holidays

Present wrapping, card mailing, treat baking, kid wrangling, hectic schedules, less sleep, more chocolate… any of this sound familiar? Don’t get me wrong, I love so many things about the holidays. My mom and dad always made the holidays so nice and special that I can’t help but get all of the warm fuzzies when they come around.

But that doesn’t mean it isn’t a stressful time of year. And I do find myself wondering how I’m going to “get through” the holidays. As if it’s something to just get over and done with so I can breath a sigh of relief and finally relax. Over the past few years, I have tried to look at things differently. I take a deep breath and remember everything I am so lucky to have. Many things that others don’t have. And while I’m shopping and present wrapping (though I am starting to go more homemade DIY gifts), there are those stressing because they can’t afford to give their holiday the Christmas I was fortunate enough to have growing up. Last year I started volunteering as a Toy Room Team Lead. I have been volunteering at Sunnyvale Community Services for over a couple of years now and have been finding myself gradually more involved.

It can be stressful actually, it’s a lot of long hours and trying to make sure we have everything ready and organized. As I try and juggle everything else, I did find myself getting less sleep, making poor food choices and perhaps maybe even a little grumpiness, BUT it also helps ground me.

Here are some pictures of the Christmas Centre we put on so that families in need can come in and get everything from basic supplies from hygiene products to canned & fresh food and toys for the kids.

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This year I got promoted to Assistant Toy Shopper!

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Check out all of the toys we had to organize (this is about 1/4 of them – we had over 1,000 families come through).

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What are your tips & tricks for relaxing through the holidays?

14 thoughts on “Getting Through the Holidays

  1. I totally hear you. I am *barely* getting through this year. So many things seem to come up and all I want to do is see family and friends and spend time with them without having to worry about presents, blog posts deadlines, schoolwork and the like.

    I think it’s so wonderful how you spend so much time giving. That is the true magic of the holidays and we need to focus more on what’s important rather that what’s stressing us out. I’m going to try to breath more this week and just relax. Things will get done or they won’t, it’s not a big deal.

    Wishing you the happiest of holiday seasons Kimmy!

    1. I was starting to feel better about things… but more things came up. Ah well, such is life.
      Breathing & relaxing is something I definitely need to focus on! And I like that attitude too – can’t stress too much over things not getting done. Will it matter in a week? A month? If not, than no worries =)
      Thanks Mary Ellen – you too!

    1. Oh awesome! They have short shifts to help clients through the centre and it’s a really fun shift to have because you get to take them “shopping” and help people pick out toys for their kids =) I will definitely keep you in mind my dear!

  2. You are always doing such wonderful things.

    I am working right up until the afternoon on Christmas Eve, so I am not really feeling any sort of holiday spirit just at the moment.
    We keep things pretty low key, just immediate family. My brother is here from the UK this year, which will be nice.

    1. Thank you Susan!
      Ah bummer… people helping the furry cuties need to work a lot I suppose. It sounds like you will at least have a relaxing get together. I’m glad you get to see your brother =) Happy Holidays Susan.

  3. There is an advert on the radio (for a toy collection) that always makes me sad which says how will santa find kids who are sleeping in a car! I am glad to see people like yourself putting some magic into the kids’ lives who really need help. So heartening to see so much kindness and generosity. Congratulations on being part of it.

  4. I think we all get that way, but I love that you are directing your energy in a positive way and I agree it keeps your grounded. I work with some families in need and asylum seekers and refugees who are victims of crime and when i see what I have and what they don’t I am more thankful for my life. Sadly food banks have increased in the UK with more demand for them, and this is the West. I don’t volunteer anymore but admire those that do, people like you.

  5. That is great that you volunteer for a drive like that. I remember doing wishing trees when I was little, where you take a card from a Christmas tree and it had a wish from a younger kid from a low income family or maybe was chronically ill. I always liked picking out the gifts to donate. But then again I remember one year throwing a fit at the toy store because one of the gifts we were donating I wanted for myself. I eventually got it from “santa” but it was totally undeserved. I remember being a little brat XD

    1. That’s really cool that you did that as a kid. I feel like I had a pretty sheltered childhood.
      Ah, I think being bratty as a kid happens from time to time 😉 I know I’ve sure been there!

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