How do you want to experience the holidays this year? Do you dream of peaceful, joyous connections with your family and friends? Or, do you hope for chaotic, stress-filled events that leave you exhausted?
The fact is, you’re moving toward holidays of one kind or another. However, by taking just three simple steps, you can have the holidays you dream of. Before we proceed, however, please know that I’m referring only to those things we can control. Many people I know are facing health or financial problems, and those things can make the holidays less than what they’ve dreamed of. However, even in the midst of those challenges there are things we can control. With that in mind, let’s continue.
The first step, is to identify what you want them to be. Take a moment and choose just two words that describe the holidays you dream of. Make sure you are being realistic, however, and not aiming for perfection.
The next step, is to identity the things that would contribute to that type of holiday. If, for example, you want the holidays to be “peaceful” and “spiritual,” that might involve accepting fewer invitations, and, making time for prayer and reflection.
Maybe, like me, your words are “unhurried connections”. That could include slowing down, getting away from your phone and other electronic devices, and, actively listening to those with whom you wish to connect (including God).
After deciding on your two words and the things that would support that outcome, the last step is to declutter; eliminate anything that causes resistance to your end goal. Get rid of distractions that steal your energy and focus. Let go of unrealistic expectations of yourself or others. Choose to postpone things that can wait until after the first of the year.
For example, instead of trying to make picture-perfect Christmas cookies, you could give gift certificates to a local bakery. Or, you could decide not to send Christmas cards and send them for Valentine’s Day instead. Maybe rather than trying to find the perfect gift for someone, you could give an IOU for a coffee or dinner date in January. Whatever it may be, focus on what it takes to enjoy the holidays you dream of.
(In the comments area, please share the two words that describe the holidays you dream of, for they could inspire someone else.)
-“Merry Christmas” from my family to yours!