The holidays naturally trigger our own personal expectations, which often are far loftier than the holiday season can deliver for us. So I decided to create a few rules to help me, and those I love, have a fabulous holiday.
- Set an intent. I set this one: I intend to enjoy every day of this holiday season and make the most of every event we choose to attend.
- Be present. Soak it all up. The moments with loved ones. The smiles and friendliness at gift time. The delicious food. Take note of all of it, and savor. Not because it’s fleeting (a feeling in fear), but because this life is your greatest creation.
- Be judicious in what you take on. Only do that which you are excited to do, or buy. Don’t do, or purchase, simply to fill a void. Instead, hold an intent to be open to seeing inspiration everywhere you turn, and let that inspiration fill your voids for you.
- Keep up with a Log Book.
- Pretend not to notice people and things that annoy you. Turn your attention elsewhere.
- Create safe spaces at home for loved ones, and you, to chill out, relax, and to enjoy time away from Responsibilities. This is essential for young minds, who are learning to find their own connection to themselves. Allow them to do as they please with their time, even as you set house rules. But bend those house rules often to allow them to disconnect and find their own way.
- Be a parent who leads by example. As you disconnect, you’ll rediscover your own natural interests and wants. Pursue those natural interests and tell your kids, I am doing this because it feels good to me.
- Make dinner time more fun by telling your family how much fun you are having in life and why.
- Make the holidays more accommodating by creating Do Nothing Days, where you make no plans other than being home together. Do not be upset if everyone goes to their separate corners to decompress. The day after a big event is perfect for this.
- Keep notes of what worked well this season, and what did not work well. Call the note Holidays 2023, and tuck it away on your phone. Review it next year before the season starts. Note things like, I hated that Fraser Fir. Or, we threw away more cookies than we ate. Or, I can’t stand Aunt Edna; avoid. Your review of the note will set you up for success.
- Buy your friends comfort items and then invite them over for a chill-out party. No one is allowed to cook. (I am doing this with foot baths!)
- Create a roster of people you are excited to see this holiday. Visit first, and only, with them at the big events. Make it a goal to see everyone on the list who you want to see.
- Carve out time to reflect on what worked well, and what didn’t, for gift giving. Did I buy too much? Did I put too much pressure on myself, or the gifts? Was I present and aware for the gift exchange? Let those reflections be a jumping off point for how you you want the New Year to commence.
- Make a poster to keep at home that says, the Kitchen is Closed. Use it often when you want to make other things your priority. Like watching shows and soaking your feet.
- Create a jar of bests. Ask everyone to list the best thing that happened to them each day of the holiday season and read the slips as the season comes to a close. Seal in, and savor, the good moments and allow for others’ perspectives to shape your own. What others see as special are windows into their souls.
- Get outside. Even if you just do a loop on the driveway, soak up the air, the sky, and the trees around you. Deep breaths are literally giving you life.
- Pull out all your decorations and evaluate them. Put away half of them at the end of the season, and donate the rest.
- Make a note, on your phone, of the order in which you want to do things for the holiday season. Start with the top event you enjoyed for the season, and then the second most loved, and keep going. Next year, schedule the top event first, the second next, and so on, to make sure you are getting in the things you enjoy the most.
What are your rules to make the holidays more pleasant?