This is the earliest I’ve ever written about the holidays. I usually wait until middle to late October to start my often humorous discussion of what the holidays mean and do to us.
There is a little bit of September 2013 left as I begin my annual conversation about the holidays and the STRESS they produce for us.
Each year as the holidays approach, it is like we forgot that they are coming.
The holidays are as predictable as winter, spring, summer and fall. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa and New Year’s Eve happen with each bringing different emotions, stories and stressors. Not all of use participate in each of these holidays, but enough of us have them overlap into our lives that the holiday season is not of short duration anymore.
And for heaven’s sakes, there are Christmas decorations in the stores already.
I think it is pretty hard to ignore the holidays and the stress, so I am going to continue to offer my thoughts and solutions so you and your family…your life…can be pleasantly affected by this time of year.
Some holiday stressors you might have experienced before:
- Aunt Margaret, who is 70+, making her horrible lumpy gravy AGAIN this year
- Uncle Harvey who nips at the loaded eggnog a bit too much
- Cousin Stella who does not buy presents for everyone
- Your distant brother who wants to come for the festivities and drives you crazy
- The secret Santa office tradition that seems so silly and a time waster
- Buying the perfect presents again without getting any thank yous or gratitude
- One party too many and going anyway
- Spending money you don’t have impressing people you don’t even like
- Giving out candy to kids that will go crazy from eating it for days and days
- Sending the annual newsletter filled with embellished stories of awe and success
- Updating addresses, whether email or USPS, and sending holiday wishes
Sounds pretty negative and time consuming to me. And yet we allow these points and so many others to be our stress producing mindset for the upcoming holidays.
What if it could be different? What if your holidays and the holidays of those around you were just plain fun, enjoyable and eagerly anticipated?
Yup, I have lost my mind in thinking any of this is possible, but I will share a deeply dark secret of mine that I am willing to expose here and now.
My holidays are good. How you ask? I shifted my mindset and allowed everyone I love and am around to be who they are. Did it take some work? A bit. Mostly it took awareness, humor and the willingness to take of look at how I was contributing to the holiday aggravation.
Are you guilty of contributing negatively to the upcoming holiday season?
When someone says, “what are you doing for Halloween”, do you just groan? If you do, you are part of the problem.
I have a dear dear friend that puts out inflatables at every season – dozens of them on his front yard. It takes hours and hours for him to get them out, clean them, inflate them and set them up so they do not blow away in the dark of night.
Why does he do all of this “work”, you ask? Even though it takes him hours and hours to do it? Because he decided that he wanted to drive around the corner on his street and come to his driveway during the holidays and be DELIGHTED to be home just like he was when he was a kid. He wanted to create his holiday mindset. He was tired of the anger, disappointment and stress of the holidays.
He is creating joy. Now the task of doing the decorating deed is eagerly awaited instead of “Dang it, I have to get out there and put up everything again. Grumble, groan.”
Mindset. Shift it. Change it.
The holidays are coming. You nor anyone else can stop them.
What if this year you enjoyed them on your terms with a terrific mindset, love and joyful anticipation?
It is very hard to be angry, stressed and annoyed when you are joyful and happy.
Happy early holidays to all. I have dozens of stress tips to share with you so you can enjoy these next terrific months of joy and gratitude.