Do you hate the holidays?
Do you start out looking forward to the peace of the season; snow on the ground the song of carolers in the air and the simple joy of baking cookies and having family near?
Only to feel slapped upside the head by reality and the crushing weight of “shoulds”? The wearying parade of open houses and office parties, gift lists, writing the annual newsletter? Churning out an ever growing pile of cards, buying gifts for one more gift exchange, and cooking?
Sorry if I’m sounding a little cynical about the season, but it does seem to take on a life of its own sometimes, doesn’t it? And that life seems to suck the very life and meaning out of the beauty and peace of the season until the day is over and we can finally relax.
Everytime my family gets together we always worry that there won’t be enough food so we bring one more dish- just in case. But you know what? We have NEVER, EVER run out of food- or even come close. And the holiday season kind of reminds me of that.
We already do so much maybe, just maybe, we could let go of a couple of our own expectations and really drink in the simple beauty of the season. With that in mind I’d like to share with you:
3 Paths to Peace at the holidays
1. Ask yourself who this (what you think you have to do) really matters to?
-are you absolutely certain that’s true?
-what if it weren’t, how would that change your experience this season?
2. Cut out 1/3 of your usual activities.
-what can go?
-what’s the worst thing that can happen if you don’t do it?
-how likely is that really?
3. Look at the meaning behind the activity
-keep the meaning- ditch the excess packaging. In other words can you do it in a lighter, easier, less complicated way? Strip it down to it’s simple, unadorned beauty- like a dusting of snow on a fir tree.
Take away everything that doesn’t add to the beauty of the season and focus on what really feels good: family, friends, joy, love, peace- relaxing by the fire. Resist the urge to bring one more dish, get one more present, do one more thing. Put up your feet, drink in the joy of others and allow them to receive the gift of YOU.
On that note…. I will only do one newsletter in December. Gotta walk the talk you know.
May you be richly blessed this holiday season- within and without. Patty