I hesitate to tell you this, but I’ve already wrapped most of my Christmas presents. I know, I know—I can just hear all the groans out there, but please hear me out.
The reason I’m wrapping Christmas presents already is that I’m a procrastinator, and procrastination is my biggest reason for emotional eating (and you know how many opportunities there are to procrastinate at Christmas—shopping, Christmas cards, decorating, etc.—I could go on, but I don’t want to make myself nervous.)
In theory, I love Christmas. I always have. But in practice, it’s a lot of work. That’s why I’m starting early. If I do just a little each week, from now until Christmas, it will be enjoyable. If I leave it all until the week before Christmas, not only will that week not be enjoyable, but the rest of the month won’t be enjoyable either, because it will always be in the back of my mind, stressing me out.
For some reason, the sooner I do something, the less intimidating it is. I enjoyed Christmas shopping last week, and I enjoyed wrapping presents this morning. But if I’d waited until a week or two before Christmas to do those things, I wouldn’t have enjoyed either one of them. Why? Because then they would have been on my “I have to get this done this week, or I’ll be in big trouble” list. And just the thought of all that pressure would have been enough to make me not want to do it.
I figure I will save about five pounds by doing the things on my Christmas “to-do” list early. Yes, we gain weight at Christmas because of all the goodies, but we also gain weight because of the extra emotions hanging around this time of year. One of those emotions is stress, and we can greatly reduce it if we get started early with our preparations.
So to all of my fellow procrastinators and stress eaters out there, I want to offer you a challenge. See if you can do one thing today to get ready for Christmas. Then try to do two more things by the end of the week. They don’t have to be big things—maybe you’ll get Christmas lists from your kids or decide what to get your parents or actually go out and buy a present. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you do something to get the ball rolling.
The more you do now, the easier it will be later, and the more you will enjoy Christmas. And who knows, you might not even gain weight this year!