What matters most to your family? In the whirlwind of shopping, cooking and other preparations for the holidays, it is sometimes easy to lose sight of the things that are truly important about the holidays. And with the focus on getting “stuff” and spending money — sometimes, too much money — the holidays can sometimes feel stressful, if not downright overwhelming. Here are some ideas to consider for having a happier holiday season:
- List your biggest holiday frustrations. What drives you crazy during holiday times? What situations or events seem to be stressful? What are your worst holiday memories? By considering what you do not want in your holiday celebration, you can focus what you do want. Go ahead and list every single issue you may have had in the past.
- Make a wish list. Now that you have identified difficult times/issues related to holidays, make a list of the qualities, events, feelings and other things you might like to “invite in” to your holiday season this year. Would you like to have a warm feeling? Less stress and aggravation? More focus on sharing, rather than material giving?
- Create new traditions. With the things you want to avoid and the things you want in mind, brainstorm new traditions for your family this holiday season. What would a great holiday celebration look like? How can you make it happen? Discuss with your family — get creative!
- Celebrate the “gift of the day.” During this holiday season, discuss the “gift of the day” with your family. It might be a thoughtful gesture or something nice that happened. Celebrating the nonmaterial good things can help you remember celebrations in the holiday season are about connecting with family and friends.
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