I've always loved Christmas a lot. Back in the day when Christmas sweaters were trendy and cool before they became a thing to mock and laugh at ugly sweater parties, I had some adorable ones. Back then, I could hardly wait for December 1st to start wearing my fabulous collection of Christmas sweaters, and I was always a little sad when it was time to put them away.

I took Christmas seriously. I wholeheartedly decorated, shopped, wrapped, baked, and delivered treats to my neighbors every year. Mostly I did it all by myself. And on top of that, I managed to work out and eat well.

It was a HIGH PRIORITY for both me and my house to look good at Christmas! We were both totally Instagram and Pinterest-worthy. But living in a picture-perfect house was not fun for my family, and looking back, it wasn't that much fun for me either.

I still love Christmas, but I've let go of draining traditions and majorly simplified how I do things. Even on days when I get super busy and off-track (haha - I admit I DO run crazy sometimes because I have a big family and squiggly personality, and it happens!). . . I'm good at recognizing that I'm off-kilter, and I can regroup quickly!

The bottom line is I'd rather feel good than looking good, so here's what I do to make Christmas feel MORE Special:

1. Remember what Christmas is all about and do something every day (it can be minor) to make someone else's life feel brighter. Try visiting shut-ins and people in nursing homes and taking some Christmas cheer to them. Check-in with the center ahead of time to see what they recommend.

2. Get comfortable with giving simple Christmas gifts. Give fewer presents and do more acts of kindness and service (try making coupon books to wrap). Before you go shopping, do a little research and find out what the people on your list want or need, and only buy that. Don't spend money on needless fluff.

3. Take time to nurture and nourish your body, mind, and spirit. This includes eating simple plant foods, drinking plenty of water, meditating (lock yourself in the bathroom if you need to), exercising (do whatever you can do, even if it's just running up and down the steps, etc.), and getting enough sleep. Do grounding and soothing things like making soup, diffuse and use essential oils, light candles, take a relaxing bath, and listen to your favorite Christmas music. Read a short Christmas story every day if you can fit it in.

4. Use and diffuse essential oils. My go-to doTERRA oils for calming are Adaptive, Balance, Copaiba, Spikenard, and Rose. For diffusing during the Christmas season my favorite oils are Holiday Joy and Holiday Peace, and they smell great when you combine them! 

5. Choose to spend your time wisely. Stick to only doing needful and JOYful things, like what makes your heart feel happy. Choose to spend your time with PEACEful people and participate in Christmas activities that leave you feeling happy and renewed.

6.  Practice saying NO. Refuse to get sucked into other people's expectations or drama. When negativity and drama are going on around you, remove yourself, and if someone is offended, tell yourself it's not your problem. Get in the habit of saying to yourself, "not my circus, not my monkey.” Stop feeling like you owe people something and stop believing they'll fall apart if you don't deliver - they won’t. It's ok if they're disappointed. Use Balance, Cheer, Forgive, and Peace (doTERRA blends) to support yourself.

7. As you get closer to Christmas, instead of freaking out about what isn't done, start crossing off the less important things on your list. If you don't have enough time or money to do something, give yourself permission to let it go and forget about it. Simplify.

8. Remember the reason for the season. Put your energy into gathering your loved ones close (or find someone who needs a friend) and simply enjoy the beautiful magic of Christmas together.

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