Are you watching the news and shaking your head? Wondering how we can bring back that ol’ Holiday feeling we once had?
It’s possible. Change your mind and you can enjoy the holiday season without ending up in a little white jacket or a padded cell.
I’m all for finding bargains, and I want to remember my friends and family with something special. Not at the cost of my sanity or my budget, however.
Ideas to keep you sane over the rest of the month:
1. Get your Priorities Straight
What’s this season really about for you? Before leaping into any of the same rituals and traditions, take a deep breath. What matters? What will create lifelong memories for the ones you love? How can you honor your personal and business relationships in a way that doesn’t destroy your financial, emotional, or physical health?
2. You’re in Charge
Are the stressors caused by you? Do you have unrealistic expectations about what you can accomplish? Are you trying to be perfect? Get done what you can and don’t worry about the rest. I started mowing the lawn late this afternoon (yes, in Phoenix we mow lawns in December…) I forgot how quickly it gets dark this time of year. I left it half-mowed, and I’ll get to it tomorrow night. Or not. Some things don’t HAVE to be done all at once. What’s the worst thing that can happen? It’ll grow back…
3. Get Creative
Personal gift certificates are always a hit (as long as you aren’t over-committing.) Time means a lot to your loved ones: a promise to your kids that each will get a special meal with just you; mowing the lawn for an older relative; taking a friend shopping after the holidays. Special photographs in unique frames. Fresh baked goodies. You are making memories. Choose what those will be.
4. Pick a theme for the year.
With a theme you conserve time and energy finding your gifts. Bert Prostor makes amazing clay ornaments, and I’m having some of them personalized. They’re easy to ship and one of a kind. She has fun ones for the social media crowd, too. Check out her site at Bert’s Clay Creations.
My sister often gives a large donation to a charity and sends each of us a special ornament in honor of that charity. Every year when I open my ornament box, I’m unwrapping wonderful memories of years past. I want that for my friends and my kids as well.
5. Carve out time for yourself.
If you choose to dive into the insanity of the mall, remember to schedule a massage, a pedicure, a walk through the botanical gardens, a lunch with friends… Don’t turn shopping and checking off a list the “reason for the season.” Stop at least once a day and look around you. Enjoy the smells and sights of the season. Play a little music. Go watch the Nutcracker Suite with friends.
Years ago a friend and I took a break from shopping and went for a walk. We heard angelic voices singing the Hallelujah Chorus, and headed towards a nearby church, expecting to see a choir in a professional production. It was the congregation of a Tongan church singing in four part harmony. We stowed away in the back of the church and were awed by the soaring voices of this congregation. If we hadn’t taken time out and gone for an evening walk, we would have missed out on one of my best memories from that time.
Take care of yourself this season.
The memories are what matter.
Enjoy making them!
Great Quotes to Ponder
~ “Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love!” ~Hamilton Wright Mabie
~ “People who cannot find time for recreation are obliged sooner or later to find time for illness.”
~ “One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day. Don’t clean it up too quickly.” ~Andy Rooney
~ “Christmas is a necessity. There has to be at least one day of the year to remind us that we’re here for something else besides ourselves.” ~Eric Sevareid
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