I used to LOVE the holidays as a kid. Tons of candy on Halloween, yummy food at Thanksgiving, and Christmas – PRESENTS, so many presents that my head would explode!
But as I became an adult and the responsibilities kicked in, it was like POOF – the holiday magic disappeared. I worried that my son was eating too much candy at Halloween. Thanksgiving and Christmas stress started way before with the planning. Did I buy a present for everyone on my list?
You really can get sucked into the holiday madness.
But I’ve got some good news. You get to choose. My choice? SLOW DOWN, take a breath and remember what all this is really about.
Practice meaningful gift giving. Let’s get real on presents. Do people really need more stuff? It seems we’ve lost track of why we give presents. I like to say we are buying presents for present’s sake, not for people’s sake.
Is it for someone who would like to see you more? Give her the gift of your time – lunch, dinner, movie, a play, a nature hike. Memories are meaningful. I make Shutterfly picture books for our parents and when our moms open it, bring out the tissues! They love photos of the kids and grandchildren.
Powerful questioning and distinguished sharing. As a Life Coach, one of the things I stress to my clients is distinguished sharing. Replace facts and gossip with true meaning. Dinner conversation at Thanksgiving and Christmas can be very formal or in some families political arguments. It is amazing how little we know about our family members. Get to know each other! Find out what everyone is thankful for. Play a game that involves powerful questioning such as:
What do I absolutely love in life?
If my life had no limits, what would I choose to do?
Put a bowl in the center of table with powerful questions. If the conversation gets dull – pick from the bowl and get connected.
Acknowledge your loved ones. People are funny about acknowledgement. Sometimes it can be stiff and awkward. Think of every one in the room as a superhero and acknowledge them for all they do in life. Even your crazy uncle has superpowers, acknowledge him for it!
Put YOU first. Yes, I said YOU, not your family or friends. Healthy priorities involve putting yourself first like the oxygen mask on the airlines – take care of you first and then help your child. Think of it this way – which YOU are you bringing to the party or dinner? Stressed out you or loving you. It’s your choice. Ask for help if you need it.
Let it go! Yes, the Disney song is going through my head. But seriously, what would it give you if you let things go? Nutrition is really high on my list of priorities, but even I have learned to look the other way on Halloween.
Enjoy all that life has to offer this holiday season. You deserve it!
Allyson Jannotta is a Life Coach on a mission to change the world one person at a time. Enjoy a complimentary Life Coaching session and find out how a good life can be great! 847-345-7142 or firstname.lastname@example.org. She is the founder of An Aha Life www.AnAhaLife.com and teammate in Chicago’s Accomplishment Coaching.