If you are like me and millions of other Americans, you really do love the holiday season…but, you remember how tired and worn out you have been every year at this time. With that remembrance comes a deep-seated dread. Holidays don’t really need to be dreaded.
Here are some really easy things you can do to bring some joy back into your celebrations.
1. Take time to remember why you are celebrating.
Thanksgiving is about expressing gratitude for all the wonderful things in your life, including all those really special people you call family and friends. The December celebrations, of course have a religious purpose, but even if you aren’t a particularly religious person, it is a time of giving love and appreciation in the form of parties and gifts, a time of caring and compassion.
2. Plan ahead
Don’t wait to the last minute to shop. Create your menus and shop early. Make a list of what you need so you don’t over spend.
3. Ask your family and friends for help
If you are usually the one responsible to make sure the cooking is done, the house cleaned, special decorations are placed, you really don’t have to do it all yourself. Assign (or ask for volunteers) different tasks to other people. They really will enjoy helping you make a spectacular holiday celebration. And don’t forget: decide ahead of time who will be on the cleanup crew.
4. Gift shopping
Make a list of people you plan to buy a gift. Be reasonable. Figure out your budget ahead of time. Take cash to purchase the gifts. When you are out of your designated budget, it’s time to go home and wrap the presents. Don’t wait till the last minute – do a little shopping one day at a time.
5. Slow down and relax
Holidays are not emergencies. You don’t want to end up as an emergency because you are sick and tired.
6. Practice meditation, yoga or just being still, listening to wonderful music
7. Don’t over eat
Serve smaller portions. Eat slowly and chew carefully.
8. Easy does it with alcohol
Alcohol dehydrates your cells, causes mental depression and fogginess, zaps your energy, and dulls your reflexes. Nobody appreciates a loud drunk, especially at holiday time.
9. Practice forgiveness
Holidays bring families together and sometimes this can be very difficult. If you are really struggling with a family member, talk to a counselor, your minister or a dear and trusted friend. Learn to forgive and try to release your own resentments and judgments. The greatest gift you can ever give yourself and another person is forgiveness.
10. Stay well hydrated
Take a bottle of water with you on your shopping outings…and remember to drink it.
Holidays are wonderful occasions to remember and celebrate the goodness of life. Make this 2013 Holiday Season the best you have ever had. It takes a little conscious awareness, and you will have a beautiful memory to hold dear in your heart.