The Holiday’s are such a loaded time of year. Our “To Do” list and priorities for the 4th quarter of every year add so much pressure to perform that it makes the Holidays extra emotionally confusing. While some of us are trying to lay aside our hoarder tendencies, others show love through gift giving. While some are warm and cozy at home, others are struggling just to put a roof over their head. Learning to balance it all can almost feel like learning to walk a tight rope… which would look like a joke for most of us.
My families Holiday journey has evolved so much over the years and just when we feel confident and grounded in our traditions… the ground shifts again and we need to re-adjust.
Here are the 5 things I try to keep in mind during the holiday season, and maybe they will help you too!
- Every family member matters. That includes you! What do YOU need this Holiday to stay sane and cheery? Speak up and share with your loved ones. They probably have the same goal of Joy for the Holidays but if you don’t communicate your needs, how will they know?
- It’s about your Presence, not your presents. Gift giving is definitely one of my love languages, but I would never want someone to go into debt or stress about buying something. Time is our greatest commodity so being present is probably gift enough!
- Communicate needs, expectations, and extend grace. My husband, Josh, and I were raised very differently. When we first got married we saw just how different we viewed Stuff, Money, and Time management. Over the years we have learned to communicate our needs and wants with each other and get more in sync every year. It has taken a LOT of grace on both our parts to find our middle ground our children are reaping the benefits. Extend grace to those around you this Holiday season… You’ll probably need to be given grace at some point so pay it forward friend.
- Seek white space… which means learning how to decline events or activities. Scheduling time for your proprieties is the only way they will actually happen, but having down time from the chaos can allow for the flexibility needed to go with the flow of life. Being the type A person I am, I actually schedule White Space into our family calendar. Otherwise every second will be filled and that has proven to be very unhealthy for our family.
- Serve a stranger/neighbor. This ties into the gift of time idea in #2. This time of year can be really hard for some people so keeping an eye out for a need, and fulfilling that need with no expectation of reciprocation will bring you more joy than you may expect.
Coming up with a game plan for our holidays has been instrumental in cultivating joy filled Holidays. As you work through these next two months, remember that as long as people are involved there will always be punches to dodge, areas to be flexible, and soap boxes worth standing on. I think the key to keeping our joy is having the wisdom to know when to do what.
I understand that not all of us are planners. And that we all have different family and personal dynamics, but taking some time to clarify your Holiday plans prior to being in the thick of it can help you keep an eye on the prize of a Joyful Holiday for everyone.
If you are looking for more resources on achieving a peaceful Holiday season, I would highly suggest checking out Learn, Do, Becomes FREE Holiday Workshop. They have some amazing tools.
All the best!