Don't be afraid to ask for help
Asking for help has got to be one of the hardest things to learn for a lot of people, especially women. We're brought up to be independent, stand on our own two feet, and forge ahead on our own, and as a society, we commend these qualities in others. "What a big girl you are, walking all by yourself!" we praise our children, and let's face it - there's absolutely nothing wrong with being thrilled that your three-year-old is finally potty trained. Independence is valuable - but sometimes, asking for help is more important than "proving" to everyone around us that we can do it all by ourselves.
Take a look at that list of tasks you've written down with the intention of shuffling them off onto other people. How many will you actually pass along, and how many will end up right back on your own to-do list? Nip that in the bud by asking people for help now, while there are still three weeks left before Christmas. If you feel uncomfortable asking for help, here are some tips for how to handle that.
- Start small. Approach someone you're super-comfortable with, like your grandmother or your best friend. Once you have heard a few "yes" responses, it'll be easier to ask the people you're less comfortable with.
- Phrase it positively. "Grandma, I would love it if you would bring dessert to Christmas dinner," sounds infinitely better than, "I'm so sorry to bother you, but would you mind terribly bringing dessert to Christmas dinner?"
- They're benefiting too! Keep in mind that Christmas is primarily an opportunity for family to get together and enjoy each other's company. People are in a good mood - they WANT to be included in the plans. And won't it make you -and them - feel good when people say, "Oh, Auntie Janice, your mashed potatoes are divine! What's your secret?" Let them share in the work and reap the rewards.
- Nobody loves a martyr. You may take secret pride in hearing people say, "Oh, I don't know how you do it!" after you've slaved over a seven-course meal for twenty all by yourself, but the truth is, if you're exhausted, overwhelmed, and feeling taken for granted, you've brought a great burden on yourself. Offload it now, before it can start to weigh you down. You deserve a merry Christmas too!