New Paradigms for The Holidays
Old thought: What to give?
To how can I give of myself to enhance and bless other people’s lives. Be creative! It’s not about buying, it’s about YOU being present in other people’s moments!
Old thought: The Holidays are such a hassle!
To: What few self-care activities for myself: will replenish me, refresh me, and renew my spirit? List them, calendar them at least 3 times a week. Don’t reschedule them.
Old Thought: The Holidays are just about run, run, run: and I always get so exhausted.
To: Make a list of all activities to be done before Your Family’s Big Holiday: put it on paper. Then make an early November, late November, early December, late December calendar, with everything listed on them. Note: if you need special tools, or equipment, beside the activity. Pick those up the day before, or better yet: order all at once: on amazon!
Old Thought: I must be perfect! I must look perfect! I want everyone (else) to be impressed! My (blank: the difficult family member) always/never notices the good in my house, and always notices the dirt or the off-color comment by my son/husband/uncles.
To: I let go of the need to be perfect in everything. I will plan my wardrobe ahead, I will BE GOOD ENOUGH! This is about family time together: not perfection! When the difficult relative makes a negative comment, my plan is: (blank blank: go for a walk, take a big bathroom and makeup break, journal, etc.) fill it in: write it down: whatever works for you.
I am afraid my children will be disappointed by the gifts I buy.
To: Ahead of the Big Holiday Day: plan fun family times like making cookies, singing holiday songs, taking a cool walk in the cooler temperatures and coming back to a fire, making bread together, or making gifts together for the neighbors. Put on the Holiday music while you do these things.
And instill in your children: The Holidays are about Family and Giving: not about getting. Give them coupons to go places and do fun things with you. Not: just objects, toys, and stuff that will get old. It’s the memories that count!
Old Thought: I physically Can’t Do all the activities: all the parties, all the religious traditions, all the family things. Help!
Make a list with your family, what are the top 3 activities to do together? Turn down any invites that don’t “spark joy”. Tell your priest, pastor, or rabbi that you can’t do ALL the activities: that you’re choosing to spend “down time” at home with your children and significant other.
Create a “Holiday Mantra”: something like: “I am good enough just like I am. I don’t have to out-perform everyone else to be a good person. I chose to do fewer activities this Holiday Season: to be more “me (say your name)” and to experience the peace and the joy of the season.”
Consider, maybe: ordering ready-made Holiday Meals from a major grocery store. It’s good, and you’ll not be too tired to enjoy the day! Don't let your family talk your out of your decision! Maybe fix one dish that is their favorite! Ahead of time!