Peace, joy and gratitude – these are sentiments that many of us hope will pervade our holiday season. But do they describe the reality of your holiday festivities? Here are some ideas to help you create the holiday experience you’ve dreamed of – it’s not too soon to get started.
Reflect on what you want. Determine what you want to get out of the holidays. For example, do you want to spend quality time with family or friends, eat healthfully, or express gratitude to the special people in your life? Adjusting your mindset to fit your goals will help you identify the activities worthy of your time.
Say “yes” more often. Rather than carrying the burden of doing it all yourself at holiday time, say yes when someone asks if they can be of help. Whether it’s setting the table for the holiday meal, contributing a food item to the holiday gathering, or doing the dishes, take people up on their offers to lighten your load. Not only will it be of help to you, but you’ll give them a gift by allowing them to be of service.
Make it easy. As you plan and prepare for holiday activities, find the easiest ways to do things while keeping them in alignment with your goals. For example, if you’re hosting the holiday meal, consider whether all items need to be homemade, or if you can find shortcuts or use store-bought items – maybe you can buy butternut squash that’s already cut up rather than cutting it yourself; maybe you can buy a centerpiece at the store rather than creating your own – you get the idea.
Have more fun. Many people view the holiday season as something to get through – cram in lots of exhausting activities, stay up late trying to making everything perfect, and guiltily over-indulge at the dinner table. That’s great if it’s your idea of fun, but if not, go back to reflecting on what you want and determine how you can prevent yourself from falling into the usual traps.
Plan to make next year even better. Keep a list of anything you might want to change or remember for next year – for example, making a note that the new sweet potato recipe was a big hit and you should make more servings. Have a family meeting to discuss how things went, including the best and worst things, additional ways you can be more prepared next year, etc. Be sure to discuss whether you achieved your written goals, and if not, why not. You may even want to discuss your goals for next year.
By including these guidelines in your holiday planning, your holidays will not only be more organized and less stressful, but they’ll be more meaningful and help you create memories and traditions that will last for years to come. For even more success, purchase my Holiday Planner and simplify your celebration.