The Holidays are coming and most people have a love/hate relationship with them. We love the food, the lights, and the sentimental feelings that come with them, but hate the stress, the drama, and the sentimental feelings that come with them. Whats more, few things can be more painful than celebrating the holidays without a lost loved one or after a tragedy.
I’ve compiled some suggestions for getting through the upcoming Holiday season. As they say in the many treatment groups, “Take what you like and leave the rest.” I hope they can make these next 6-8 weeks more meaningful and restful.
1. Lower your Expectations
Whatever your thinking about HOW the Holidays should unfold, cleanse your mind of those thoughts.
2. Traditions are Evil
There I said it. More families have more fights over TRADITIONS than anything else. Nothing is worth losing your peace and quiet!
3. Get off the Family and Office Gift Exchange
It’s a waste of money. I have sadly listened to many families that waste lots of money buying gifts for extended families members. I have 8 siblings and 50 plus nieces and nephews. We decided 40 years ago to NOT do the exchange. Best family decision we’ve ever made. I have always opted out to the office “white elephant” exchanges. I have never regretted that decision.
4. Decorate your House For You, Not for Anybody Else
Put your tree up when you want it up. Take it down when you want it down. Keeping up with the neighbors is a trap. Don’t do it.
5. Do not “Charge” the Holidays
If you limit your gift buying to cash, you’ll come out the other end much happier.
6. There is No One Reason for The Season
There are “Reasons” for the season. You get to decide. There are religious reasons. There are family reasons. There are cultural, and personal, and altruistic reasons. It can be whatever you want. I find meaning in the New Year’s Day Holiday. It gives me a chance to reflect on the past year and dream about the new.
7. Make Amends
Do not let another Holiday Season pass, being at odds with a family member or friends. Those hurting relationships will rob you of your joy during this season.
Slow down. Take a Deep Breath. Relax. Do Nothing. Forget the concerts. Forget the scenic drives. Forget the Holiday Party. Forget the Mall. Forget the congested traffic. Forget the holiday movies. Try to do as little as possible this Holiday season. Stay at home and simply enjoy the quiet evenings with your family and loved ones.
Don’t be afraid if you and your kids get a little bored. Boredom can be a motivating force for creativity. Do not feel pressure to entertain your kids every second during the Holiday-School break. Worse-case scenario: They’ll look forward to getting back to school.
Get Outside. Walk, hike, stroll, sit on a park bench, lay under the stars, visit the many parks in Louisville, have a winter picnic. Seriously, get off your butt this Holiday Season! You’re most likely going to eat more. That’s okay! Enjoy the food. Enjoy the Thanksgiving and Holiday meals.
Then get out and walk. Go into the forests. Do a special walk on Thanksgiving morning or New Year’s Day.