The holidays are upon us. (Well, technically Halloween is upon me as I’m writing this page…but I’ve already seen Thanksgiving — and Christmas — items up in plenty of local stores.) And every year around this time, I start feeling a little nostalgic for childhood and family traditions. Those times were way less complicated. I didn’t have to worry about getting a bunch of magazines to the printer on deadline or think about the complications of how to get everyone together when we live all spread out across the country. All I had to do back then was sit back and enjoy. As adults, we’re often rushed, stressed, and maybe a touch crazed around the holidays.

You’ve got clients who want to get in for last-minute appointments, employees (or coworkers) who are trying to finagle some time off when you need them most, and holiday parties of your own to plan or attend. In addition to your own family, you have your work family and your clients to consider when it comes time to saying thanks and giving gifts. Things just seem to spiral out of control during the time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s — the time that in our youth was spent joyfully celebrating with our friends and family. The magic of the season was palpable. Now we’re often just lucky if we remember to put up the tree and buy the eggnog.

So how can we get back some of that childhood joy?

  1. Don’t book your schedule with no room to breathe. Schedule in a lunch and small breaks each day. Schedule time off when you can get your own shopping done. Try not to skip workouts.
  2. Don’t come in early and stay late every day. Maybe dedicate two days a week that you’ll come in early and two days a week that you’ll stay open later during the holidays to accommodate the busier schedule. Make your schedule known well in advance. And don’t budge. Your time is precious too.
  3. Don’t turn down party invitations because you’re too busy. It may seem like the last thing you have time for, but once you get there, you’ll enjoy the celebration and find that it’s also a great way to let off some steam.
  4. Throw a party of your own. If you aren’t giving out client or employee gifts, why not have a holiday open house? Invite your clients and your coworkers to enjoy food, drinks, and festivities and let them know how much they mean to you.
  5. Decorate your salon. Play holiday music. Burn seasonal-scented candles. Do whatever it takes to help you get in the spirit. If you’re feeling festive, it will be contagious and those around you will feel less stressed.
  6. Keep your traditions going strong. There’s nothing like sharing your memories and traditions with the newer generations. Bake cookies, build gingerbread houses, decorate the tree, go caroling. Whatever your traditions were, resurrect them for your family and friends. There’s nothing like seeing the holidays through a child’s eyes.
  7. Find an organization or charity that you can give back to. Nothing feels better than helping those in need. Sponsor a family at Christmas; hold a holiday food drive; donate toys to a local shelter. Any of these things will help bring some of the joy of the season back into your life.

Happy holidays from everyone here at NAILS to you and yours.

How do you deal with holiday stress while still finding time to enjoy the magic of the season? Email me at and we’ll post the best responses on Facebook.

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