I absolutely love Christmas.  I always have. I love everything about it. The music, the trees, lights, decorations, and the fact that everyone seems generally happier. I used to turn my Christmas tree on, put on Christmas music and lay there for hours relaxing. I love buying presents for my friends and family members, and I would be lying if I didn't sy I loved opening gifts too!

Enter anxiety.  The older I get the more anxiety the holidays seem to bring me. My anxiety levels rise and try to ruin the joy that I surround myself with from Thanksgiving to Christmas. I start to worry about what the plans are with family, what to buy people, making my own Christmas list, and Christmas day in general. It's all trivial, for the most part. Like what time is church, what are we eating and when, what time do we get to open presents, things that don't even matter! Anxiety tries like hell to ruin my holiday spirit but u refuse to let it. This year I was proactive in trying to beat this.

While our Thanksgiving plans changed last minuet and we ended up going back to Matthew's hometown to see his mom and family, I think I did quite well. I don't do well with last minuet changes and being away from my comfort zone on holidays. We got to spend some time relaxing, eating, shopping, and sleeping in. I had one major meltdown and only a few small panic attacks. I think it was a success.

I didn't put a tree up this year (more on that later), I started listening to Christmas music earlier (than I usually do..), I have my Christmas shopping DONE, and I actually made a list this year. I have watched a handful of feel good Christmas classics (Home Alone marathon, anyone?!), and have been doing many of my coping skills without waiting for anxiety to hit...hello adult coloring books!Christmas with my family seems to already be planned, I know what we are going to eat, and I know what will come the days following Christmas.  With so many things going on this month work and personal wise I knew I didn't have time to let anxiety get me down and keep me in bed like it did last year.

Add to holiday anxiety the fact that in the past four years 3 of my relatives have passed away. Adding a funeral into the mix is not exactly ideal, but that will also be happing this year. And honestly, the only anxiety I have about that is having to see my dad's side of the family, but that too will be it's own battle. One in which I hope I can conquer easily.

This year I got an early Christmas gift and I can't wait to tell everyone!! (no, there is no baby on the way)


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