My college friend Ben said it best: I hereby decree that, until December 25th, each day shall have 28 hours and shall include nap time and unlimited throat lozenges and hot beverages; and every professional musician shall have a personal assistant to deal with the business of day-to-day living while we gradually go insane to celebrate the birth of Our Lord.
Being a musician this time of year is HARD! We're constantly in rehearsals, concerts, or prepping for said rehearsals and concerts, all the while supposed to be doing our normal day jobs, feeding our families, and shopping for Christmas, AND hosting our families for Christmas day.
Over the years, I've developed some tricks to limit the number of exhausted emotional breakdowns to 2-3. (I've already had one so far this year!)
1. Shop for your Christmas presents early. I started early. Like September early. People laughed, but now it's December 1st, and I'm half done.
2. Shop online. This is a hard one for me, because I LOVE to shop in stores, but there's some things that's it's just easier to order online. Amazon is my new best friend.
4. This kind of goes with #3, but Subway is AWESOME at Christmas! During December, they have customer appreciation deals involving a meatball sub or a cold cut sub for $2!! You can't beat it, and you can't feed yourself for that. So don't stress about eating at home, go get a sandwich.
5. Organize ahead of time as much as you can. Plan your meals for the month at the beginning of the month. Prep all of your music folders, and put them in your car where you can't forget them. No matter how tired you are, pick up your house before you go to bed and throw the dishes in the dishwasher. Pick out your outfit for the next day.
6. Find some moments of joy in the season. Enjoy the parties with your friends and the time with your family. Everything is going to get done, you're going to live, and Christmas will be there and gone before you know it.
Oh, and drink a lot, but that's just understood, right?