Stressed over the holidays – the shopping, the money, the lines, the pressure? It is indeed enough to take the happy out of Happy Holidays. So how do you relax and reconnect to what the holidays are really all about? Here are three ideas:
- Commit to only give gifts from your heart. For those you choose to give gifts to, commit to understanding the person and to giving something from your heart. Spend a moment really thinking about that person. What thought, item or experience would add the ‘happy’ to their holidays? Though some gifts from the heart may be purchased, I love gifts that are made or created by the gift giver. A poem, homemade card, preserves, video call, surprise visit, etc can all be gifts from the heart. The more heartfelt, the more ‘happy’ for you and for the gift receiver.
- Spend more time spending time. I know people who spend time with their friends and family waiting in line, navigating traffic, buying gifts. In that time they are more focused on the errands and the lists, than on the the company; they spend very little quality time connecting. Without all the pressure to go out and buy gifts, you have more time to spend with those people in your life who want, need and would love time with you. Make your present being present.
- Fully celebrate at least one holiday moment. For me, it was has always been our Christmas Eve celebration. It was the one night during the holiday season for my big Italian family that was always magical – always involving extended family, caroling, eating and sharing stories. The dinner brought us together; the memory came from the laughing and recalling the years of stories, and including our stories with our kids and grandkids. A holiday moment could be in an event you host or attend. It could be in a trip, a concert, a sleigh ride, an open house, a gift swap or an event with very special people. Search and find what connects you most to the joy and happiness of the season, then build it into your calendar to ensure it happens.
I am not sure who established that we should bring gifts, decorate our houses, host parties or spend money to make a holiday happy. These things can make for a wonderful holiday as long as we don’t let them dictate how we must celebrate; that should always be our choice.
So, how will you ensure there is ‘happy’ in your Happy Holidays? And don’t stop there. How will you bring happy to all aspects of your life?
Wishing you truly happy holidays and a truly happy life.